3:15 PM -- BOSTON -- The Cable Show -- TV Everywhere, cable's move to the cloud, and the industry's rapidly evolving wireless strategies are the buzz at this year's show, but there's also a lot of talk that CableLabs is nearing a changing of the guard.
The contract of current CableLabs President and CEO Dr. Paul Liao is up at the end of the year, but he may be able to get a head start on his retirement. Several industry sources say CableLabs and its cable operator masters have made their pick, and all that's left are some final negotiations and the dotting of i's and crossing of t's. So, it may only be a matter of days or weeks before a new leader is announced. (See CableLabs Confirms CEO's 2012 Departure and CableLabs CEO Liao Sets His Exit.)
No one's willing to give up a name, but everyone we talked to at the show is in agreement that the candidate of choice is not a cable industry insider, but an exec from the Silicon Valley.
That would follow on a couple of new themes that have emerged at Colorado-based CableLabs in recent years. Liao, the former CTO of Panasonic Corp., isn't a dyed-in-the-wool cable guy, but someone from the outside that the cable sought in 2009, in part, to help cable develop better relationships with the consumer electronics industry. During his tenure, Liao also opened up a CableLabs facility in San Francisco to help the cable industry tap in to the area's deep software developer pool and culture of innovation. (See Liao Puts the CE in CableLabs and CableLabs Set to Open Bay Area Digs .)
So expect that trend to continue under the next CableLabs CEO as the cable industry continues to change its image by speeding up its own rate of innovation via the adoption of key IP technologies and the incorporation of a more Web-centric approach to its operations.
— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable