It was a rumor that had been hanging in air, like thick smog over Los Angeles. Mike Volpi, till recently a rising star at router maker Cisco Systems, was said to be joining Joost as chief executive officer. Our sources said it was going to happen, but the Joost press team kept on denying it, feigning surprise at the very notion. Given that we only had a single source on that piece of information, we decided to dig deeper.
paidContent’s Staci Kramer, however, beat us to it, and reports that it is happening, citing multiple sources. We have been able to verify this piece of information independently. The news shouldn’t come as a surprise, given that Joost recently raised $45 million in venture funding from some top venture capital firms at an astronomical valuation.
The funding meant that Joost was going to be looking for a brand-name chief executive who could have immediate impact. Volpi, an Italian by birth who grew up in Japan, is a suave sort of an executive. He fits the bill of Hollywood slickness combined with Silicon Valley chops.
We had heard that Volpi was hanging around Sequoia Capital’s offices, and with Sequoia being one of the big investors in Joost; it all begins to fall in place. How successful Volpi will be at taking Joost to the next level remains to be seen. Dealing with the L.A. sharks and working with alpha geeks at large corporations require different types of skills.