|New CEO Tom Rodgers must help TiVo and its partners face TV's 'new realities.'
Mr. Rogers is vice chairman of the TiVo board, which he joined in 2003, and had more recently taken a leadership role as company commentator when TiVo made news announcements. His appointment is effective July 1.
He is also widely credited as the driving force behind TiVo's much-heralded deal with Comcast cable company to resell its digital video recorder boxes. TiVo, which also sells it own boxes and services direct as well as through a deal with satellite provider DirecTV, had long been criticized for not having a cable partner. The news of the deal in March sent TiVo's stock price soaring by more than 50% to almost $8, momentum it has largely retained. (TiVo is trading today at just more than $7.)
Board member and Redpoint Venture Partners general partner Geoffrey Yang said in a statement that they chose Mr. Rogers for his experience, proven track record and "his leadership in securing the Comcast deal for TiVo."
Mr. Rogers, in the same statement, said he recognizes the challenges TiVo faces, but feels the company is in a good position "to help multi-channel carriers, networks and advertisers grow their businesses in an environment that presents new realities for how TV is watched."
TiVo indeed faces challenges. As cable companies follow satellite companies in offering DVR services that allow users to easily watch shows any time they want, with the ability to skip commercials, many industry watchers believe TiVo will lose its leading edge as consumers turn to service providers to hook them up.
Currently about 9 million U.S. households use DVRs -- TiVo accounts for more than 3 million of them -- according to market research firm In-Stat. Not exactly mass market, but pundits predict that number to jump to more than 25 million by 2007 (Yankee Group) and reach a 41% penetration level by 2010 (Forrester).