Joost Says It Has No Future As Portal, Enters White-Label Market; Volpi Out As CEO

Much-hyped video portal Joost is remaking itself as a “cost-effective” white-label video provider — slashing staff, closing and shaking up its top ranks in the process, possibly as a step towards its sale as a technology company rather than an entertainment platform. Mike Volpi, rumored of late to be on the short list for a variety of top jobs, is stepping down as CEO but will remain as an active chairman. Adding to the idea that Joost could wind up acquired by a cable operator, Matt Zelesko, the SVP of engineering who joined from Comcast (NSDQ: CMCSA) in January, replaces Volpi as CEO while keeping his engineering portfolio. Stacy Seltzer, the Joost vet who has been SVP of international business development and content acquisition, will run business operations. (Comcast looked at Joost earlier but has its own technological video resources and I was told was not interested in buying this one.)

In the statement accompanying the announcement, Volpi admitted what others have been saying for more than a year, especially with the rise of Hulu as a web-based video portal: “it