CableLabs has, as expected, gone outside the cable club to land its new leader, announcing Wednesday that former Hewlett-Packard Co. chief technology officer and self-described "innovation consultant" Phil McKinney is its new president and CEO.
McKinney, whose official first day is Friday (June 1), succeeds Dr. Paul Liao, the former Panasonic Corp. CTO who joined CableLabs in 2009. Liao's contract runs through the end of the year, but it was not immediately known how much longer he will stick around with the R&D house.
CableLabs recently opened a facility in San Francisco, but McKinney intends to spend most of his time at the company's Louisville, Colo., headquarters, a spokeswoman said.
Word that CableLabs was closing in on Liao's replacement spread last week at The Cable Show in Boston, with most sources indicating that the organization would end up hiring someone from Silicon Valley. (See CableLabs Nears End of CEO Search .)
McKinney most recently served as CTO for HP's Personal Systems Group, where he handled R&D and technology strategy for PCs, laptops, mobile phones, and personal storage equipment. His LinkedIn page notes that he "retired" from HP in December after more than nine years with the company. Before that, we was the CIO of Teligent Inc. and a director at Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC), responsible for the company's consulting practice.
McKinney's been penning a column for Forbes.com, with a recent entry offering his thoughts about "The Secret to Apple's Innovation Leadership." McKinney recently published his first book, Beyond The Obvious, billed as "a practical guide to consistently generating innovation." (Follow @philmckinney if you want to keep up with him on Twitter.)
Why this matters
The cable industry is trying to redefine not just its image, but the way it does business. The hope is that McKinney will provide technical leadership as the industry migrates more (and someday all) services to IP and continues to take a more Web-centric approach to its operations. The hope is that these moves will help cable accelerate its historically slow pace of innovation.
â€” Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable