Hewlett Packard Enterprise CEO Meg Whitman is set to take the helm at Hollywood mogul Jeffrey Katzenberg's NewTV mobile first media company.
Whitman, who has received plaudits from partners for her leadership in turning around Hewlett Packard and Hewlett Packard Enterprise, is set to take the CEO role at NewTV effective March 1.
The new job comes just two months after Whitman announced that she was stepping down as CEO of HPE effective Feb. 1, handing over the reins to HPE President Antonio Neri.
Whitman will be working side by side with Hollywood legend Katzenberg on the NewTV venture, which will be based in Los Angeles. Katzenberg will be chairman of NewTV – which is currently the "working name" of the new venture.
“Meg is one of the most accomplished and sought-after executives of our time," said Katzenberg in a prepared statement. "She has built and scaled some of the most important global companies today. To say I am thrilled that Meg will be at the helm would be an understatement. Her leadership, operational expertise, and deep understanding of technology and consumer behavior will be invaluable in creating the future of mobile entertainment.”
NewTV is aiming to provide what it calls "a custom-designed, purpose-built technology platform for mobile, on-the-go viewing of the highest -aliber curated content." The new company is pledging to bring "the highest-quality Hollywood production values and storytelling to mobile, in bite-sized formats of 10 minutes or less."
John Shaw, founder and CEO of Digital Nebula, an Austin, Texas, solution provider startup that is breaking new ground in artificial-intelligence-based technology solutions, said Whitman's rare blend of technology and consumer expertise will be critical in making NewTV successful.
"Meg is going to thrive at NewTV," said Shaw. "She has that rare skill to understand technology, technologists and consumers. I think she is in the same class as [former Apple co-founder and CEO], Steve Jobs who understood both the technology side and consumer side of the business. You've got to remember Meg started eBay when it had just 30 employees and $4 million in sales and grew it into an $8 billion business with 15,000 employees."
Shaw, who sold his cloud business Nimbo to focus on the emerging AI market, said he expects Whitman to thrive in the fast-paced entertainment technology startup environment. "Meg is stepping full force into the new content era," he said. "She understands where the market is going and will use that to her advantage."
Shaw compared NewTV to startups Skimm, a new media company focused on millennial women, and Blink, a global content studio that repackages content into bite-sized formats.
"These companies are curating and creating content into smaller bites for millennials and for zillenials -- the next wave of millennials," he said. "It's about cutting the wire of the cable companies. These are young people -- some of whom don't even own TVs – that are growing up on iPads."
NewTV is part of WndrCo, a digital media and technology investment firm, that "acquires and develops businesses operating at the intersection of media and technology."