The former BBC executive, who told Reuters on Friday he is departing
the company, had worked on OnCue for Intel for more than two years
before Verizon bought it in January to accelerate a push into video
services, including TV channels delivered over the Internet, known
as an "over the top", or OTT, service.
While other companies have been talking up their plans to deliver
such a service, a source familiar with the matter said that Verizon
was now moving away from the OTT strategy and that the departure of
Huggers, who was a proponent of an Internet-only service, reflected
A Verizon spokesman confirmed Huggers' departure and in regards to
its strategy said, “We obtained a strong combination of
technological and personnel assets from Intel Media. We intend to
strategically utilize the OnCue technology and talent going forward
to grow our business. That has not changed."
Verizon had previously said OnCue would help it offer video over its
Fios fiber-optic infrastructure as well.
Seen by some as a bold attempt to revolutionize TV and others as a
distraction from Intel's chip business, Intel CEO Brian Krzanich
pulled the plug and put the unit up for sale before it was launched.
Intel's retreat from streaming TV was a disappointment to people in
Silicon Valley who hoped the technology company could break open a
market tightly controlled by a handful of cable and entertainment
With the acquisition, Huggers and many of his employees moved over
to Verizon, where he hoped to launch the service to consumers. But
he told Reuters he advised his staff on Thursday that he was leaving
[to top of second column]
Huggers said in an interview he had worked well with his immediate
boss at Verizon, Marni Walden, recently appointed to head product
development, as well as Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam.
"There were no conflicts at all. The technology is great, the team
is great, the future is secure, the dream lives on. It's time to
hand the baby over to someone else,” he said.
Verizon's rivals are working on their own Internet TV services. AT&T
Inc <T.N>, which made an offer to buy DirecTV last week in a $45.5
billion deal, has said it would take 12 to 18 months for the
combined companies to come up with an over-the-top service.
Dish Network Corp <DISH.O> has said it expects to launch its
personalized streaming product by year-end, having already struck a
deal for programming from Walt Disney Co <DIS.N>.
(Reporting by Noel Randewich in San Francisco and Liana B. Baker in
New York; Editing by Marguerita Choy)
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