Telecommunications veteran Michael Harney has been named the new CEO of iNovo Broadband, a fledgling Duluth, Ga.-based company "specializing in provider-centric CPE." The appointment adds to what the iNovo Web page describes as a "management team [that] includes a highly experienced group of executives, all of whom have a long history of innovation in the service provider CPE business."
Harney's credentials include his most recent position as corporate senior vice president and president of Cisco's (Nasdaq: CSCO) Subscriber Networks Group. Cisco, along with Pace Plc (LSE: PIC) and Google's (Nasdaq: GOOG) Motorola Mobility business unit, dominates the U.S. set-top market for cable, IPTV and satellite service providers. Google is reportedly trying to sell off its Moto stake, and there have been some reports Cisco is similarly trying to exit the set-top business. Harney's departure should only add to those talks.
Despite Cisco's Silicon Valley address, Georgia is home for Harney, who began his cable career at Scientific-Atlanta which, in 2008, was acquired by Cisco. At one time, S-A and General Instrument (the predecessor to Motorola) were an unbreakable duopoly, selling set-tops to every major cable and IPTV operator in the U.S.
Now iNovo appears ready to enter that space, and "no one is more qualified to lead us than Michael," said Jack Miller, iNovo's co-founder and COO in a news release. "The addition of a senior executive with his record of success is a significant milestone for our organization."
As iNovo's new leader, Harney will be tasked with leading a self-described "service provider-centric CPE start-up founded by technical and business experts from leading telecommunications suppliers." The company's product line includes "advanced set-tops and DOCSIS CPE."
Harney, in the news release, said he is up to the challenge.
"Bringing new technologies to market successfully demands an intimate understanding of the installed base," Harney said in the news release.
It's a little tougher than it was in the days of the S-A-GI duopoly thanks to standardization, but "there is always room for suppliers who can execute and this team has proven they can," he concluded.
Harney's appointment received an endorsement from another industry veteran, Chris Bowick, now president of the Bowick Group and a member of iNovo's advisory board, who called his colleague "one of the most respected executives in the cable television industry" and said that his appointment adds to iNovo's ability to present a "credible alternative to legacy suppliers."
- see this news release
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