By Sahil Patel
Those wondering where former YouTube VP of content operations Tom Pickett was going after announcing his departure did not have to wait long. The executive has been hired by Otter Media, a joint venture from The Chernin Group and AT&T focused on the over-the-top video space, to be the chief executive officer of a new company that will look to build advertising- and subscription-based “targeted video-on-demand channels.”
Online video properties controlled by Otter Media, including Crunchyroll, KDrama, and Creativebug, will fall under this new company’s umbrella. Pickett’s role will be to launch, invest in, and/or acquire other niche channels, in addition to oversight of these three properties.
Fullscreen, a YouTube multi-channel network that was recently acquired by Otter Media and is also developing its own off-YouTube video service, will not be under this new company’s stewardship.
Pickett is one of two major executive appointments at Otter. The other, former American Airlines chief commercial officer and AT&T senior executive Virasb Vahidi, has been appointed to the post of chief executive officer of the joint venture overall.
In the role, Vahidi lead Otter’s general operations and overall strategy, in partnership with The Chernin Group and AT&T.
“Otter Media is tapping into exploding demand for content available anywhere, anytime, on any device,” said Vahidi in a statement. “We’ll take a customer-centered approach to create innovative offerings to grow this exciting business.”
Otter was formed in April 2014 with a mission — and $500 million — to acquire, invest in, and launch global over-the-top video services. Next up: a name for the company that Pickett is now in charge of.