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TW Cable's Gaedtke Gallops to Google

Jeff Baumgartner
LR Cable News Analysis
Jeff Baumgartner

Jason Gaedtke is on the move again.

The exec who has played a big role in the development of Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC)'s controversial iPad app and connected-TV strategy is leaving the MSO to join Google (Nasdaq: GOOG), industry sources tell Light Reading Cable. A TW Cable official confirmed Gaedtke's departure Tuesday afternoon.

Gaedtke's move to Google follows a recent history of bouncing around. Gaedtke joined TW Cable in November 2009 as group VP of Web services after spending less than a month with Synacor Inc. (See Gaedtke Jumps From Joost, Joins TW Cable .)

Before heading back to the cable realm, he served as the CTO of Internet video startup Joost , a job he took in early 2008. He previously served as chief architect at Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK)'s Comcast Interactive Media (CIM) unit, which operates the company's Fancast and Xfinity TV Online video hub. In between his five years at Comcast and his move to Joost, Gaedtke was the chief scientist at Louisville, Colo.-based CableLabs , his second stint at the cable R&D house. Before joining Comcast, he was a project director, focused on PacketCable, an architecture that cable layers on top of Docsis for primary-line VoIP services.

So, what's he going to do at Google? No word yet on a title or scope of responsibilities, but given his history and background, it's a foregone conclusion it will involve a premium-level video strategy and perhaps something to do with the troubled Google TV product or the YouTube Inc. division.

Word of Gaedtke's departure comes less than a month after the MSO launched an app for the iPad that lets customers stream 32 live channels (for now -- more are coming). TW Cable says the app has already been downloaded more than 300,000 times. (See TWC's iPad App Launches With (Some) Live TV.)

Although the app restricts access to customer homes, some programmers are up in arms about it, claiming TW Cable's rights for that content do not extend to devices like the iPad, or to broadband-connected TVs. On that latter point, TW Cable has inked deals to stream its services to upcoming TVs from Samsung Corp. and Sony Corp. (NYSE: SNE). (See CES 2011: Samsung Puts MSOs in the Picture and CES 2011: TW Cable, Sony Make IPTV Connection.)

For its part, TW Cable believes the iPad app falls well within its rights and that its contracts with programmers don't reference specific types of devices. (See TW Cable Circles the iPad Wagons.)

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable

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User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:09:12 PM
re: TW Cable's Gaedtke Gallops to Google

Let's be honest, when a guy changes jobs that often that quickly, he's either very talented or he's running from something.

Which is it?

User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:09:12 PM
re: TW Cable's Gaedtke Gallops to Google


Or he is trying to get a specific set of Titles on a resume.  Lots of folks resume build...




Jeff Baumgartner
Jeff Baumgartner,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:09:10 PM
re: TW Cable's Gaedtke Gallops to Google

Can't deny that he's very talented and apparently a prized commodity. What's harder to know is which way the recruiting went in all of these situations and if he keeps getting offers that he just simply can't refuse, even in situations when he probably should.  If he ends up coming back to cable some day down the road we'll definitely be able to say that the talent trumps.

As Synacor goes, his stay there was for less than a month -- perhaps just days -- before TWC swooped in with a better deal and he made the move.  Granted, he's leaving after TWC got its iPad streaming architecture off the ground (the same type it  will use with connected TVs) , but the sense I get is that his departure came as a surprise there.

At the same time, it makes me think cable should worry a bit about him going to Google and what they have in mind for him since it's likely going to take the shape of something competitive on the video front.  And it's not Joost he's going to this time. Google's got the ability and cash to do much more. Makes me wonder if they have strong desires to become a "virtual" MSO since Google's among the best positioned to make such a bold move.  JB

User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:09:01 PM
re: TW Cable's Gaedtke Gallops to Google

Maybe Gaedtke gets bored easily. I'm cuious to see what he's working on for Google, and would bet that whatever it is will probably be launched within six months so can move onto the next gig. 


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