BBC Interactive TV Executive, Rahul Chakkara, to Step Down

Rahul Chakkara, the BBC's most senior interactive TV executive and one of the key figures behind the corporation's Project Canvas initiative (note: the latter is a joint over-the-top venture between the BBC, UK commercial broadcaster ITV, and UK incumbent telco BT, which seeks to develop a common standard and interface for the delivery of online catch-up services such as the BBC iPlayer and the ITV player, as well as other Internet-based VOD services, to broadband-connected set-top boxes--specifically, set-top boxes designed for reception of the UK's free-to-air multichannel TV services, Freeview and Freesat), is set to leave the corporation, according to a report in UK broadcast-industry trade publication, Broadcast, last week.

Chakkara, who holds the title, controller of TV platforms, appears to have been unwilling to move to Salford, a city within Greater Manchester to which the BBC's interactive TV team, currently located in London, is set to move in 2011. According to Broadcast, only around a third of the approximately 100 employees of the Platforms Group have agreed to date to make the move (they have until September to make their decision). Chakkara joined the BBC in 2004 from interactive TV and content protection technology provider, NDS, where he was director of marketing and interactive television. Neither Chakkara nor the BBC has been commenting publicly on his decision to step down.