Canoe Ventures announced late yesterday that David Verklin was no longer the company's CEO, and that chief operating officer Kathy Timko was appointed as interim CEO.
Canoe Ventures spokesman David Grabert said in an email this morning that Verklin's contract wasn't renewed and that he will be leaving the company "later this summer." Grabert also said there were no current plans to conduct a search for a new CEO.
Verklin was a high-profile hire for Canoe Ventures back in 2008 after he left his job as the CEO of Aegis Media Americas to take the reins of cable operator-backed Canoe Ventures.
In 2008, Project Canoe morphed into Canoe Ventures with investments by the nation's six largest cable operators: Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Cox Communications, Charter Communications, Cablevision and Bright House Networks. The goal of Canoe Ventures was to pull cable operator, ad agency and marketing resources together for advanced advertising opportunities across a nationwide footprint.
Verklin brought Madison Avenue advertising savvy to Canoe Ventures, but the company had to scrap its Community Addressable Messaging (CAM) overlay product in 2009 after encountering operational difficulties. CAM was slated to be Canoe Ventures' first product launch.
Speaking on a panel at the 2009 Cable Show, Verklin said CAM would launch around the end of May, but Canoe and its MSO backers decided to pull the plug in June of the same year.
"David's passion for media and advertising is contagious," said Rob Marcus, a Canoe Ventures board member and president and chief operating officer of Time Warner Cable. "He and the team at Canoe have helped the industry to reach new levels of collaboration that support the growth of our business, the enhancement of services to our customers and the advancement of new marketing solutions for television advertisers.
"The board remains committed to the significant business opportunities we are pursuing through Canoe. I speak for the entire board when I wish David well for the next phase of his distinguished career."
Last year, Canoe Ventures launched its EBIF-based request for information (RFI) product offering, which, thanks largely to Comcast, is currently enabled in 20 million households across the nation.
Canoe Ventures plans on releasing interactive polling and trivia applications later this year. The company will also conduct a dynamic ad insertion trial for video-on-demand sometime this year.
Timko joined Canoe Ventures' executive leadership team in 2009 as chief operating officer.
"Kathy's experience managing and scaling high-tech organizations, including her track record driving marketplace adoption and creating new business revenue, positions her well for leading Canoe through the next phase of its development," said Canoe board member and Comcast Cable President Neil Smit. "The business skill Kathy has demonstrated at Canoe over the last two years has been pivotal in helping the industry's national interactive television platform to surpass 20 million households and has led the company to its go-to-market phase.
"As Canoe expands its portfolio of iTV services and launches national dynamic ad insertion for video-on-demand, Kathy's business acumen will be key to deeper penetration of Canoe's solutions in the market."
Prior to Canoe Ventures, Timko served in key management roles and board positions in both start-up and mature high-technology companies for the past 15 years. She held a range of senior leadership roles at various business units within IDT Corp., a multinational holding company focused on the telecommunications and energy industries.
Timko was the COO of carrier services at IDT, where she directed pricing, profit optimization, business metrics reporting and operations. In 2006, she was named COO of IDT Telecom, where she oversaw the unit's retail and wholesale businesses and was responsible for product management, technology, engineering and all operations.
During her tenure at IDT, Timko also served as CTO of IDT Telecom, executive vice president of technology at IDT Corp., and COO of the engineering and operations division. She started her career with IDT in 1998 as vice president of engineering and operations and was appointed to IDT Telecom's board of directors in 2001.