Video services

Samit Sacked as SeaChange Suffers

After just 18 months on the job, SeaChange CEO Jay Samit is out and former COO Ed Terino is in as head of the struggling video product and services company. SeaChange made the surprise announcement appointing Ed Terino as its new CEO at the same time it reported disastrous quarterly earnings results. Fourth quarter revenue was down to $27.2 million from $31.3 million in the year-ago quarter, and the company reported a GAAP operating loss of $22.1 million, up from $5.3 million in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2015.

SeaChange International Inc. (Nasdaq: SEAC) hired Samit to lead the company in October 2014 and has since pushed hard to expand its portfolio of solutions, balancing multiscreen video platform technology and video gateway software with over-the-top service and data analytics offerings. Among his early moves as CEO, Samit led SeaChange in the acquisition of Timeline Labs, a social media analytics company. That corporate takeover was supposed to bolster revenue through the sale of TV audience measurement solutions, but results have been lackluster. (See SeaChange Eyes Timeline for Success.)

Through Timeline Labs, SeaChange partnered in an audience measurement venture called NewCoin with 21st Century Fox , Tribune Media Services Inc. and Univision . Board Chairman Steve Craddock now says that SeaChange will no longer fund Timeline Labs and NewCoin, describing those investments as not "in the best interest of the shareholders."

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On the plus side for SeaChange, the company does have a strong customer base, and new CEO Terino has expressed optimism about the organization's ability to return to growth and profitability during this fiscal year. Notably, SeaChange has deployed its Nucleus video gateway software with two of the largest pay-TV providers on the planet, Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) and Liberty Global Inc. (Nasdaq: LBTY), and those two service providers both have plans for further gateway distribution in 2016. (See SeaChange Raves About OTT Business.)

Terino said in a statement that SeaChange "will be focused on leveraging our R&D investments and becoming more efficient with our spending as we roll out our platforms for current customer commitments and introduce new cloud-based software products that provide opportunities in our core TV service provider segment, as well as adjacent markets."

In the SeaChange quarterly investment call, Terino also noted that the company is hiring a dedicated OTT sales team and will increase product marketing activities in the coming months. He expects to see "positive contribution" from those efforts before the end of the year.

— Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, Light Reading

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