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Kelly joins Canoe Ventures' executive team

Wed, 10/12/2011 - 9:40am
Mike Robuck

Last week, David Kelly came onboard Canoe Ventures as its vice president of affiliate relations.

Kelly, who reports to chief financial officer Neil Schaffer, serves as a key interface between Canoe and its six MSO investors (Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Cox Communications, Charter Communications, Cablevision and Bright House Networks), and also between Canoe and future distributing affiliates.

Kelly is also responsible for driving effective communications between Canoe and its partners, ensuring that the company's marketplace opportunities and business plans are achieved through alignment with distributors.

He is a cable industry veteran with more than 17 years of experience in various roles at large programming networks. Most recently, he was vice president of national accounts for A&E Television Networks, where he oversaw cable distribution, marketing, advanced services and ad sales for major cable distributors in the U.S. and Canada. 

Canoe Ventures is gearing up for a launch of polling and trivia applications later this year, while also prepping for a VOD dynamic ad insertion trial in 2011 ahead of a launch next year.

Canoe Ventures launched its EBIF-based request for information campaign last year, and it's currently available in more than 22 million households.

Kelly is the latest executive to join Canoe's team as it moves from start-up phase to scale, product expansion and market penetration.

Last month, Canoe announced that Jonathan Bokor joined the company as general manager of iTV solutions, while Chris Pizzurro was promoted to general manager of VOD solutions after previously serving as Canoe's vice president of business development and product strategy. Additionally, Canoe Ventures hired Sanjay Patel as its vice president of marketing.

Following David Verklin’s departure from Canoe as its CEO earlier this summer, in August Canoe Ventures announced that new CEO Kathy Timko had re-aligned the company’s senior management team. Among the changes, Arthur Orduña was switched from being Canoe Venture's chief technology officer to the newly created position of chief product officer, while Joel Hassell took over as the new CTO.

Bokor and Pizzurro report to Orduña, while Patel reports to chief marketing officer Vicki Lins.

As general manager, Bokor is in charge of Canoe's iTV product line, which includes its RFI (request for information) product that allows marketers to enhance national advertising with compelling interactive proposals to viewers, allowing them to receive samples, coupons, brochures and other information by using their cable remote control devices. Bokor holds full responsibility for Canoe's portfolio of iTV solutions, which will include the polling and trivia products.

Bokor served as a consultant with NBC Universal prior to Comcast buying a majority stake in the company. He was also a consultant to SinglePoint and vice president of business development at Tandberg Television. While at Tandberg, he was involved in the development and deployment of the EBIF version of HSN's Shop By Remote application.

Bokor was also a consultant at Arise Communications and worked for Walt Disney Group and Qwest Communications.

As general manager of VOD solutions, Pizzurro is responsible for the successful commercialization of Canoe's first on-demand product, national dynamic ad insertion (DAI). He holds full responsibility for the success of Canoe's business with the national VOD platform the company has created and for managing the lifecycles of the products introduced for VOD.

Prior to Canoe Ventures, Pizzurro was vice president at National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. He also served as vice president of digital, new media advertising sales and marketing for Turner Entertainment. Pizzurro has recently worked closely with Canoe's sales organization to help steer the development of its new sales solutions team.

Patel is leading Canoe's efforts to introduce, position and promote its products for competitive success in the marketplace. Canoe said he works closely with business general managers to develop successful go-to-market plans. He will also develop strategies that help Canoe's direct sales and affiliate sales efforts with vertical industry marketing plans, including category-centric tools that demonstrate the differentiated value of Canoe's advanced television solutions. 

Before joining Canoe, Patel served as vice president of product marketing for KGB. He also had a two-year stint as a marketing consultant for ESPN, NBC and Turner Entertainment.

"The creation of these new roles at Canoe signals the priorities of the company as we move into an exciting new chapter," Timko said. "On behalf of the cable companies that founded us, Canoe is poised against enormous opportunities for video distributors, programming networks and their advertising clients. The heavy lifting to create a robust national platform with optimal reach to television viewers across distributors continues, but we are moving forward with initiatives to create greater scale while also adding focused resources on product and market development."

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