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Redbox Founder to Step Down Early Next Year

Redbox names Anne Saunders, a top-ranked marketing executive at the education company Knowledge Universe, as the new president

Gregg Kaplan, the founder and top executive at Redbox, announced Monday that he plans to leave the company next March amid fears that growth at the DVD rental service is slowing down.

Anne Saunders, the current executive vice president and chief marketing officer at the education company Knowledge Universe, will take over as president of the Coinstar-owned firm. She starts on Aug. 27.

Kaplan, who started Redbox in 2002, said he is leaving to "pursue new opportunities" but will stay on until March.

Saunders will take the reins just as Redbox, partnering with Verizon, prepares to launch later this year a subscription video-on-demand service meant to compete with Netflix.

The streaming service comes at a time when investors seem to have cooled to the kiosk-based service as sales of DVDs appear to be in irreversible decline.

Redbox reported last month that its revenue climbed 26 percent over the previous year to $458 million, but the company had grown much faster in the first quarter, when it experienced a 39 percent surge. 

Redbox, which Kaplan sold to Coinstar in 2009, now has 38,000 kiosks across North America.

Also read: Redbox Chief: 'We Are an Engine for Industry Growth'

"To say that I am extremely proud of everything we have accomplished here is an understatement," Kaplan said in a statement. "I look forward to continuing to work closely with the teams, including our talented and dedicated employees around the country, to ensure a smooth transition in the months ahead."

Saunders previously worked at Bank of America, Starbucks and AT&T.