Yep its true the leader of BBC future media and technology Erik Huggers is leaving for a job in Intel.
We heard the news about 5pm today (Tuesday 18th Jan) and funny enough we had an informal meeting with the new director of BBC future media – Ralph Rivera, planned for 5:30pm in the Manchester office.
Although I did actually like Erik Huggers, I’m really looking forward to working under Ralph Rivera’s vision. John Linwood will now take on the Technology part of the old Future Media & Technology.
To be fair to Erik, he was actually a very likable kind of a guy. He made some very difficult decisions and brought in some very interesting people including Richard Titus, Anthony Rose, John Linwood, etc. He tended not to shy away from conflict and certainly made his presence felt when required. Erik always supported the Backstage project which is obviously now closed. But the thing which I will always remember Erik for is the look on his face when he came up to Manchester and we presented him with a Manchester City Tevez board saying welcome to Manchester, but switched Tevez for Erik. There was a certain amount of confusion but he never let on, he just accepted the gift with welcoming arms.
I do wish him well and I know he’ll do some great things at Intel given half a chance.
The first thing I asked Ralph Rivera, was about his background and the answer I got back was not just impressive but delightful to hear. Not only did he say all the right things about technology from his computer science background but he also said some great things about games and the internet. Not only does he get it, but he seems to live it. It was almost like if you were to cut him, Geek blood would pour out. So yes Erik was great but Ralph is just something else. To be honest, this is my own opinion, Ralph is exactly what the BBC needs right now. A geek running things…
Someone suggested it could be like when Greg Dyke joined the BBC. I wasn’t there for those times but I heard some amazing stories and some great projects. Bearing in mind Ralph is not the Director General of the BBC only (I say only, but you know what i mean) the director of Future Media. I’m intrigued and very excited what plans he has to shape up the BBC and take it on to to the next Decade. So excited I can’t bloody sleep…