From desktop app, to live streaming web TV service… to top of Britain’s biggest commercial broadcaster? It sounds like something of a wild card, but The Sunday Times says Joost CEO Mike Volpi is on headhunter Russell Reynolds’ shortlist to be named ITV (LSE: ITV) CEO.
Volpi was silent on reports he was looking to sell the company in April. He has business credentials beyond online video: while a senior executive at Cisco (NSDQ: CSCO) he acquired 70 companies. And while other streaming-media services like Hulu in the U.S. and Spotify in Europe have gained public attention and some impressive numbers, Joost doesn’t seem to have broken through in the same way. Last week marked Volpi’s second year as CEO of Joost.
Meanwhile, the frontrunner for the ITV job, former BSkyB (NYSE: BSY) CEO Tony Ball, has been left off the shortlist for the job. The Times has it that Ball has “given up” on the ITV post after joining BT’s board as a non-executive director – but, just to keep tongues wagging, BT (NYSE: BT) has pointed out that Ball’s non-exec post is not a barrier to taking an executive role somewhere else.
Citigroup announced this morning it would back a £500 million plan to re-finance ITV but only if the broadcaster chose Ball as its new boss. Other names tipped to be in the running are the Belgian former CEO of German broadcaster ProSiebenSat, Guillaume de Posch, and former VMtv CEO Malcolm Wall. The process is being handled by ITV’s own talent agency Russell Reynolds