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Hoffman departs ICTV, joins OpenTV

Sun, 08/24/2003 - 8:00pm
Jeff Baumgartner

Wes Hoffman has departed one interactive television company to join another.

Hoffman, most recently the president and CEO of ICTV Inc., has joined OpenTV Corp. as executive vice president and chief operating officer. OpenTV is also a "strategic investor" in ICTV.

Hoffman's appointment was one of five that will expand OpenTV's executive ranks. The company also named Thomas Hagopian to senior vice president and general manager of programming/advertising; Constance Pettit to senior vice president of advertising; Bill Harvey to senior vice president and general manager of research; and Thomas Ewing to vice president and chief intellectual property officer.

"I believe the addition of these seasoned, industry-leading executives will help OpenTV to expand our business domestically and overseas," said OpenTV CEO James Ackerman, in a release.

Succeeding Hoffman at ICTV is Mike McGrail, who joins the company following the introduction of HeadendWare, an iTV platform for thin-client digital cable set-tops.

A cable vet, McGrail was named president of cable billing and customer care company CableData in 1995, and served as president and chairman of DST Innovis beginning in 1998, when DST Systems and U.S. Computer Systems, CableData's parent company, merged.

"ICTV is the right company with the right technology at the right time for the cable industry," McGrail claimed, in a statement. "I look forward to building on the foundation that already exists at ICTV to create new levels of television-based interactivity that address the needs of our clients and their subscribers."

ICTV, an iTV firm in operation for more than a decade, has not secured many deployments for its digital product, but has begun to see some efforts bear some fruit.

Hoffman's departure wasn't due to a lack of progress at ICTV, but because of an outstanding opportunity at OpenTV, said Gary Lauder, founding investor and vice chairman of ICTV. "Three of the top 10 MSOs in the world have within the past two months taken our product into lab trials," Lauder said.

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