Intel poaches technology guru Huggers from BBC

ERIK Huggers, the BBC’s high-profile technology chief, has been poached by chipmaking giant Intel.

The departure, first revealed on Cityam.com yesterday afternoon, is a massive blow for the corporation, which has significantly boosted its online presence under Huggers.

Huggers, who became the BBC’s director of future media & technology in August 2008, is emigrating to Silicon Valley in California to become corporate vice president and general manager of Intel’s digital home group.

Sources close to Intel said Huggers would earn “considerably more” than he does at the BBC. Last year, he took home a pay cheque of £407,000.

He is following a similar path to his predecessor Ashley Highfield, the architect of the BBC iPlayer, who quit the state-funded broadcaster in 2008 to join Microsoft.

In a memo to BBC staff, seen by City A.M., director general Mark Thompson said Huggers was not being directly replaced.

Instead, chief technology officer John Linwood will be given extra duties while Ralph Rivera will become director of future media, with responsibility for the iPlayer.