New subscription-free digital TV and catch-up TV service and set-top box purveyor YouView is looking for a new chairman--again--after Lord Sugar, its non-executive chairman, announced that he would be leaving the company "in the next few weeks."
The start-up service launched in July, behind schedule but ahead of the Summer Olympics--although logistics and a lack of available set-top product made that timing pretty much moot. Backed by the BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5 and Arqiva, as well as BT and TalkTalk, YouView is now available to buy from a range of high-street and online retail outlets. It provides access to more than 100 digital TV and radio channels as well as a huge on-demand content library from the BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5, BT Vision and the TalkTalk Player, all delivered direct to the viewer's main TV.
The company has had a hard time keeping chairmen, having had three in the last three years. The latest to go, Lord Sugar, had an "acrimonious meeting with Channel 5 executive Richard Desmond" that may have speeded up a move he was already planning to make, according to a report in Broadband TV News.
The founder of set-top box manufacturer Amstrad, however, was more succinct in explaining his reasoning in a YouView press release, in which he said the mission he accepted when brought in to replace former Ofcom exec Kim Meek had been accomplished.
"When I joined YouView in 2011, my brief from the shareholders was to use my experience in the electronics industry to get the product to market and into the homes of consumers. Having done that successfully, my job is complete and I will now focus my time and attention into my other businesses," he said in the press release.
The press release noted that during his tenure, "Lord Sugar has been instrumental in the successful launch of an award-winning product and YouView is now the fastest growing TV platform in the U.K."
A replacement is expected to be announced shortly, the Broadband TV News story said.
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