Originally created 02/02/05

TiVo president resigns



SAN JOSE, Calif. - TiVo Inc. said Tuesday Marty Yudkovitz has resigned as president, marking the second major change in as many weeks in the executive ranks at the embattled digital video recording company.

Monday's resignation of Yudkovitz, an NBC executive who joined TiVo in May 2003, comes two weeks after chief executive Mike Ramsay said he would be stepping down from the helm as soon as a replacement is found.

Yudkovitz will remain on for a period of time as a consultant for certain matters, the company said.

Alviso-based TiVo, founded in 1997 by Ramsay and Jim Barton, the company's chief technology officer, helped introduce digital video recorders to consumers in 1999, and has since become the industry's leading brand name.

But others are fast encroaching, namely cable and satellite operators which are introducing their own digital recording features in their set-top-boxes. Digital video recording is also being built into media-oriented computers and other consumer electronics devices like DVD recorders or televisions themselves.

The number of TiVo subscribers has steadily grown - it accounts for about a third of the estimated 6.5 million of the nation's households that have DVRs - but the company has not yet reached sustained profitability. It hopes to do so by the end of 2005.

Yudkovitz, a 20-year television industry veteran who played a key role in creating CNBC and MSNBC which are owned by General Electric Co., was recruited by TiVo to help build closer ties with Hollywood, which has largely been rankled by copyright concerns stemming from digital video recording.

The technology lets television viewers record shows to a hard drive, fast forward through commercials and pause live TV.