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Ashley Highfield quits Kangaroo for Microsoft

LONDON - Ashley Highfield is leaving the delayed BBC, ITV and Channel 4 video on-demand joint venture Project Kangaroo to join Microsoft as UK consumer and online managing director.

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Highfield will be responsible for driving all the sales, marketing, content & programming, business development, partner efforts and operations for Windows, Windows Mobile, Windows Live, MSN, Live Search and Microsoft Advertising.

Based in London, he will report to John Mangelaars, Vice President, Consumer and Online, Microsoft Europe, Middle East and Africa.

Project Kangaroo has been delayed by an investigation by the Competition Commission which is not expected to be out until February 8. It was originally referred to the Office of Fair Trading in June.

Highfield moved from his role as the BBC's director of future media and technology to take the chief executive role at Kangaroo in April.

Project Kangaroo is now looking for a replacement and has appointed its lead regulatory adviser Rod Henwood as interim chief executive.

Highfield said: "It has been a great pleasure and challenge to take Project Kangaroo to the next stage of its journey. It is something I believe passionately in and I will remain a great ambassador for the project from afar as it continues on the road to become a brilliant proposition for consumers in this exciting market.

"However I was presented with an amazing opportunity which I couldn't turn down, and I am looking forward to embarking on my new challenge, while wishing everyone at the project continued success."

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