Yudkovitz Resigns From TiVo

Feb 1, 2005  •  Post A Comment

TiVo President Martin Yudkovitz on Tuesday announced that he is stepping down from his post-just two weeks after the company’s CEO announced his plans to resign.

News of Mr. Yudkovitz’s resignation sent TiVo shares falling as much as 4 percent at midday, as investors digested the news of the second executive resignation at the company in as many weeks.

Mr. Yudkovitz, a former NBC executive who had been at the Alviso, Calif.-based since May 2003, said in a statement that the heavy commuting demands of the job made it difficult to see his wife and family, with whom he said he plans to spend more time now that he has resigned. The company said it has no plans to replace Mr. Yudkovitz.

Last month TiVo Chairman and CEO Michael Ramsay announced that he is stepping down as chief executive, yielding the post to an executive who can help navigate the company he co-founded in a new direction. The company is currently conducting a search for a new CEO.

Mr. Ramsay plans to retain his chairman title.

After focusing on trying to score partnerships with cable and satellite operators to deploy its DVRs and meeting meager success, TiVo’s new strategy is to focus directly on consumers with an array of products designed to connect various household multimedia devices.

At the same time, the company has lowered the price of its DVRs in an effort to focus more on standalone customer relationships. That comes at a time when its lifeblood, a partnership with satellite operator DirecTV Group, appears more and more in doubt as DirecTV begins deploying DVRs based on technology from a TiVo rival that is owned by News Corp., which also owns a controlling stake in DirecTV.

The company hopes to achieve profitability in 2005.

A 20-year veteran of NBC, Mr. Yudkovitz had a hand in creating CNBC and MSNBC and was recruited to TiVo in a bid to create ties between the entertainment industry and the company amid worries that TiVo’s technology infringed on copyrights.