TiVo has announced that Raghu Rau, a member of TiVo’s Board of Directors, has been named interim President and Chief Executive Officer, effective immediately. The appointment follows Enrique Rodriguez’s personal decision to resign from his role as TiVo’s President, Chief Executive Officer and a member of the Board of Directors to assume a position as Chief Technology Officer at Liberty Global in Europe, one of TiVo’s long-time global customers.
Rodriguez will remain at TiVo in an advisory role to ensure a smooth transition. Rau will continue to serve on the Board of Directors.
The Board has commenced a comprehensive search process to identify and evaluate internal and external candidates to serve as a permanent CEO, with the assistance of a leading executive search firm.
“On behalf of the Board, I want to thank Enrique for his leadership and we wish him the best in his next chapter,” said James Meyer, Chairman of TiVo’s Board of Directors. “We are fortunate to have a world-class leadership team in place and are pleased to have someone of Raghu’s calibre step in to lead the Company. He has been a member of the TiVo Board of Directors since 2015 and is a proven leader with extensive experience in the video industry and in the management of intellectual property. I am confident that Raghu, alongside the rest of the leadership team, will continue to drive the value that TiVo’s innovative technology portfolio brings to the fast-growing and hyper-competitive entertainment industry.”
Rau said: “This is an exciting time for TiVo and I am eager to jump in as interim President and Chief Executive Officer. I look forward to working closely with our outstanding management team as we continue to innovate, profitably grow our customer base in key market segments, and expand our international presence. I also look forward to working with the Special Committee of the Board to bring our strategic alternatives process to a successful, value creating solution for our shareholders.”
Rodriguez commented: “My personal decision to pursue another opportunity was not easy. I couldn’t be more excited about what lies ahead for TiVo as I expect our performance through the second quarter of 2018, including our announced profit improvement actions, to be ahead of our internal plan. I am looking forward to continue my relationship with TiVo in my new role as a customer and partner. Until then, I am committed to working with the TiVo team to ensure a seamless transition.”
In announcing the Rodriguez appointment, Mike Fries, CEO of Liberty Global, said: “Enrique is a seasoned executive who will hit the ground running on day one. In today’s technology environment the best CTOs have worked across sectors, platforms and geographies. Enrique has C-level experience as an engineer, software developer and operator. He has managed multi-billion dollar businesses for companies like AT&T, Microsoft, Cisco and Thomson, and has a long history in digital television as well as the European broadband sector. As head of Microsoft’s Connected TV business, he launched IPTV solutions for telecommunication companies around the world, including many of our competitors. More recently, at AT&T, he was responsible for the teams that developed and launched DIRECTV’s successful OTT service, DirecTV Now. I’m particularly excited to tap into Enrique’s knowledge of video products and platforms as we ramp up innovation in our TV business. He’s the right leader at the right time for Liberty Global.”
Rodriguez will lead Liberty Global’s Technology & Innovation (T&I) team of more than 7,500 employees, with an annual operating and capital budget of more than $5 billion. The centralised technology function powers the IT, supply chain, product development and delivery and network platforms across Liberty’s operating companies, working across countries and brands to help them succeed. Liberty Global’s standardised approach to its portfolio of software and hardware, which includes the Horizon TV platform and state-of-the-art Connect WiFi routers, plays a critical role in optimising operational efficiency and delivering a consistently superior experience to Liberty’s 22 million customers in Europe.
Rodriguez said: “This is an exciting time to join Liberty Global. It is one of the few companies in our sector with international scale, a long-term commitment to technology leadership, and a track record of consistent growth and value creation. Mike and his team are first class operators and I look forward to accelerating product innovation and building the network capacity that European consumers want and demand.”
Baptiest Coopmans, who has served as acting CTO since January, will remain with the company to ensure a seamless transition for Rodriguez and will assume the position of Senior Vice President, Operations.
Fries continued: “I want to thank Baptiest for his leadership as interim CTO since we appointed Balan Nair to lead Liberty Global Latin America in January. You can’t stand still in today’s TV and broadband marketplace and thanks to Baptiest, we’ve successfully marched forward. He will continue to report to me as our Senior Vice President of Operations focused on helping me optimise our organisational model and operational effectiveness.”
Paolo Pescatore, an independent telecom and media analyst, described the Rodriguez appointment as “interesting” in light of his only being at TiVo for a short period of time. “Beyond the wealth of experience he brings to Liberty Global, he will be able to help the group launch new services. He joins at a time when the company is struggling to be truly successful in convergence. With this in mind, Liberty is placing a lot of focus on efficiency and is seeking to make better use of data by investing in software and the cloud. Unsurprisingly, expect a particular focus on TV and the integration of online video services within the new TV platform.”
Paolo Pescatore (independent telecom & media analyst)