Erik Huggers Appointed Chairman of Everyone TV


BBC alum Erik Huggers has been confirmed as the new chairman of the free-TV platform operator Everyone TV.

Huggers currently holds several board and advisory roles for European companies, including ProSiebenSat.1, Hexagon, WeTransfer and the streaming technology provider MainStreaming, as well as being chairman of Freepik Company. Previously, Huggers spent eight years at Microsoft before joining the BBC in May 2007. There, he led the launch of BBC iPlayer as part of his responsibilities for the public service broadcaster’s direct-to-consumer services across web, mobile and TV platforms. Huggers went on to hold senior roles at Intel, Verizon and Vevo, serving as CEO for three years at the latter.

As chairman of Everyone TV, Huggers will provide leadership and direction to the organization’s board of directors—drawn from its members: the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5—as well as the senior management team.

He succeeds Caroline Thomson, the media executive, who is stepping down after more than ten years in the role.

Everyone TV CEO Jonathan Thompson said: “I’m delighted that the PSBs have appointed Erik as the new chairman of Everyone TV. He brings to the role a wealth of highly relevant U.K. and international experience and a deep understanding of the technology and media sectors. I’m really looking forward to working with him. I’d also like to thank Caroline for her expert stewardship of the organization over the last decade. We are incredibly grateful for the passion and dedication she has shown to the company and its people.”

Huggers said: “The U.K.’s broadcasting sector with public-service broadcasting at its heart is the envy of the world. I have long admired the principle of high-quality content delivered free at the point of use for all. As the worlds of tech and entertainment increasingly converge, it’s imperative that the distribution of free TV adapts. I’m very much looking forward to working with the public service broadcasters as well as Jonathan and his senior leadership team to help shape the next phase of free TV in the U.K.”

Magnus Brooke, chair of the appointments panel and group director of strategy for policy and regulation at ITV, added: “On behalf of the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5, I’d like to welcome Erik to Everyone TV. As the PSBs seek to deepen our collaboration in the delivery of free-TV services, we are delighted to have Erik on board to help us navigate a rapidly changing TV landscape so that free-to-view television remains compelling and accessible to all. We’d also like to offer our sincere thanks to Caroline for her very wise, effective and committed stewardship as chair of the organization over many years.”

Thomson added: “I am immensely proud of all that Digital UK, now Everyone TV, has achieved during the time I’ve been chair and how far it’s come. From delivering digital switchover all the way back in 2012, it is now the organization leading free TV in the U.K.—with the backing of all four national public service broadcasters, both free-TV platforms under one roof and an expert top team led by Jonathan Thompson to oversee free TV’s evolution. I have thoroughly enjoyed my tenure and will be following closely where the organization and free TV go next.”