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Rodriguez Bolts Tivo to Be Liberty Global CTO

Jeff Baumgartner

Enrique Rodriguez's reign as Tivo's CEO will be short-lived.

Less than a year after taking the helm of TiVo Inc. (Nasdaq: TIVO), Rodriguez is departing the DVR pioneer and video software company to become executive vice president and chief technology officer at Liberty Global Inc. (Nasdaq: LBTY), the Denver-based cable operator that serves about 22 million subscribers in Europe.

Rodriguez, who is also exiting the Tivo board but staying with the company in a brief advisory role, plans to start his new gig at Liberty Global in late July.

Liberty Global's former CTO, Balan Nair, was appointed president and CEO of Liberty Global's Latin American and Caribbean operation last fall. Baptiest Coopmans has been serving as acting CTO since January, and will stay on at Liberty Global as senior vice president, operations.

Rodriguez -- an exec late of Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO), AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T), SiriusXM, Thomson (now Technicolor (Euronext Paris: TCH; NYSE: TCH)) and Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) who joined Tivo last November -- is departing the company at a tumultuous time.

In February, the company announced that it is exploring all alternatives -- including those involving mergers and acquisitions and taking the company private -- in a bid to boost shareholder value. Rodriguez's departure appears to signal that Tivo is nearing a decision. Tivo noted that it will provide a status update on the review when it issues its Q2 financial results.

Among other big changes underway at Tivo, the company is also exiting the hardware-making business (it has signed on a yet-unnamed "major" device manufacturer to handle that task), and is pushing ahead with a new, cloud-focused, device-agnostic platform aimed at helping its cable operator partners transition to IP-based multiscreen pay-TV services. (See Tivo's Done With Hardware and Tivo Drops New TV Platform Ahead of CES.)

Tivo and Comcast remain embroiled in unresolved patent litigation in cases at the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit and at the International Trade Commission. (See Stakes Run High for Tivo in Comcast Suit.)

Tasked with navigating Tivo through these choppy waters, at least in the near term, is Raghu Rau, a Tivo board member who has been named interim president and CEO.

Rau, 69, a former CEO of video software specialist SeaChange International Inc. (Nasdaq: SEAC), has served on the Tivo board since 2015.

Tivo said it has started a search to evaluate internal and external candidates to succeed Rodriguez.

Tivo shares were down 4.33% (60 cents) to $13.25 per share in midday trading Thursday.

— Jeff Baumgartner, Senior Editor, Light Reading

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