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Microsoft TV chief steps down

As Lichtman returns to Israel, company turns to Xbox Partnerships executive to lead its IPTV unit.

Moshe Lichtman, the man responsible for Microsoft's television division, has stepped down and will be replaced by Enrique Rodriguez, who comes from the company's Xbox division.
Moshe Lichtman Moshe Lichtman

Lichtman is returning to Israel for family reasons but will remain with the company, a Microsoft representative said Tuesday. Specifics about his new position were not disclosed.

Prior to taking over Microsoft TV, Rodriguez worked with Xbox Partnerships, helping strike technology partnerships for the company's video game console.

Microsoft TV provides software that enables telephone and cable companies to deliver cable TV-like services, such as delivering high-definition video, high-speed Internet access and phone calls over fiber-optic lines.

Microsoft TV is poised to generate $500 million or more by 2010, according to a research report issued Tuesday by Sanford C. Bernstein analyst Charlie Di Bona.

The company has little competition and can boast a customer list that includes most of the world's largest telecommunications providers, including AT&T, Verizon Communications and BellSouth.

"Though IPTV is a minor business today, we think that this market could provide significant financial and strategic benefits...over the next three to five years," Di Bona wrote in his report.