Thursday, July 28, 2011

Johnson Press names Microsoft veep, former head of BBC new media, Ashley Highfield as new chief executive

Johnson Press, the regional newspaper group owned by The Scotsman, has named Ashley Highfield as its new chief executive, the BBC reported this afternoon.

Highfield has been Managing Director & VP, Consumer & Online UK for Microsoft. Prior to that gig Highfield was the head of new media at the Beeb and was responsible for the launch of the BBC's iPlayer while also editor-in-chief of BBC Online.

Highfield has a rather unique career biography for some named to head a newspaper company. He started his career as a computer programmer before joining Coopers & Lybrand as a management consultant. He has been with Microsoft since January 2009. (Whether this position was a reward for launching the BBC iPlayer for Windows only is unknown.)

Highfield has been a governor of the British Fill Institute since 2008.