New TiVo CEO May Boost Fortunes

After eight years at the helm, TiVo co-founder Mike Ramsey has decided torelinquish the CEO’s chair when a successor is named. Ramsey will continuein his role as chairman.

TiVo’s struggles to gain market share in the digital video recorder (DVR)market that it pioneered are well documented. Last week at the ConsumerElectronics Show, the company announced a host of premium services designed tocompete against the ever-encroaching DVR boxes from cable and satellite TVproviders.

“The time is right for me, personally and professionally, to bring in anoutstanding CEO to lead the company so that I can focus on future strategy,”Ramsey said in a statement.

New Take for TiVo

Analysts agree TiVo is in a tough spot and may need a leader with adifferent skill set.

Yankee Group analyst Aditya Kishore said it’s not unusual for a companyto reach a stage of maturity at which the founder is no longerthe best choice for CEO.

The company has faced increased pressure. Just last week, satellite TVprovider DirecTV, where TiVo got about two-thirds of its subscribers,announced that it would use software from NDS Group to offer its own set-topDVR box.

Good Move?

The move could be a good one for TiVo, depending on who ends up in the CEO’spost.

“If it is a person that can build bridges into the cable community and getsome business for TiVo, this would be great,” Van Baker, Gartner Dataquestanalyst, said.

“If they lose DirecTV or if that business goes flat and they can’t get acable company, then they will have a challenging future as a small company,”he said. “They have incredible brand equity, as TiVo is now a verb in theU.S. language. They need to capitalize on this brand equity before itdeclines.”

“Their strategy of late of adding functionality has not been unfounded,”Kishore said. “They’re heading in right direction, it just may be too late.”

1 Comment

  • The entertainment industry is not TiVo’s friend. To satisfy cable and broadcast interests is to walk away from the impact the internet will have on media — and I AM not talking about theft of programming. TiVo will become the in home on demand hub for entertainment or it will diaappear. There is a huge AM ount of audio and video work that major labels refuse to distribute. If TiVo can become the distribution channel of choice for the disenfranchised artists, then the others will eventually follow.

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