In some news from last week, News Corporation and NBC Universal have appointed Jason Kilar, a former executive at Amazon.com, to CEO of the online video joint venture the companies formed
in March, 2007. Mr. Kilar will join the new company on July 9 and will report to its Board of Directors.
The company's site will debut later this year with thousands of hours of full-length programming, movies and clips from myriad networks and two major film studios. With distribution partners AOL, CNET, Comcast, MSN, MySpace, and Yahoo!, the new venture will have access to 98 percent of the monthly U.S. unique users on the Internet.
"Jason's product and consumer expertise in the world of e-commerce is arguably unrivaled in this business and gives him a great insight into what it takes to create a superior user interface," commented Mr. Chernin. "We already have access to world-class content and near ubiquitous distribution, and the next step is marrying it with the features and tools that will help define the ideal user experience for video content on the web. We think Jason is the ideal person to lead that effort."
Mr. Kilar, 36, spent nearly a decade at Amazon.com, where he quickly rose to help expand the company's core business beyond bookselling. Mr. Kilar originally wrote the business plan for Amazon's entry into the video and DVD businesses and ultimately led that unit as General Manager and Vice President. The video and DVD business grew to several hundred million in revenue under Mr. Kilar's leadership. Mr. Kilar went on to become Vice President and General Manager of Amazon's North American media businesses, which included the company's books, music, video, and DVD categories.
He later served as Senior Vice President, Worldwide Application Software, where his responsibilities included Amazon's Marketplace business and ownership of a significant number of the applications which can be found throughout Amazon's global websites. He reported directly to CEO Jeff Bezos and his organization included hundreds of world-class technologists that innovated the customer experience within the areas of community, media storage and serving, item metadata, automated merchandising and more.