VUDU, the Santa Clara, Calif.-based movie download device maker, has scored a big one: it has hired former FOX executive Mark Jung as CEO. The set-top box company that hasn’t been able to escape skepticism is betting Jung will be the catalyst that helps it get access to bigger Hollywood libraries. Some believe that the company’s technology has the potential to be the iPod of the download movie business. VUDU uses P2P technologies to deliver movies to home viewers.
Jung was the cofounder and CEO of IGN Entertainment, which was sold to Fox Interactive (NWS) in October 2005. He later became the chief operating officer of Fox Interactive Media and was responsible for all of its Internet properties, including MySpace, IGN Entertainment, FoxSports.com, AmericanIdol.com, and Scout Media. He left Fox in November 2006 and since then has been involved in some angel investments.
Jung is described by those who have worked with him as someone who keeps an even keel and a close eye on the bottom line. VUDU will need that. Even though it is backed by white-shoe VC firms such as Benchmark, the company is part of an extremely competitive landscape and will need a good skipper to navigate the choppy waters.