Comcast poaches top Amazon video engineer amid latest high-profile Prime departure building

Comcast has announced the hiring of former Amazon executive Euan McLeod as VP of IP video engineering, marking the second high-ranking departure from Amazon’s video ranks within the last two months.

The hiring is a nice win for Comcast, which has invested heavily to transition its brand image from stodgy cable company to relevant hub for top-level technologists. The MSO said that McLeod will lead its VIPER unit (short for “Video IP Engineering and Research) out of the company’s Denver offices.

That division designs, develops and deploys the software Comcast uses to deliver IP video. McLeod will guide Comcast’s migration to IP-based video delivery across all devices and platforms, the company said.

Comcast VIPER is part of the technology and product group led by Tony Werner, president, technology and product for Comcast Cable. McLeod will report directly to Jason Press, senior VP of video engineering and operations for Comcast Cable.

The announcement of McLeod’s hiring comes the same day that Comcast leaked word that its IP-based “Stream” platform—which has been involved in marathon testing sessions the last few years in Boston and Chicago—will finally be rolled out as “Xfinity Instant Video” across Comcast’s entire footprint in the third quarter. 

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McLeod’s previously operated under the title of Global head of Video for Amazon, leading strategy and development for a range of projects and initiatives, including Amazon Video, Amazon Prime and Amazon Music. Prior to joining Amazon, he was VP of Content Platforms for Turner Networks. 

McLeod’s ankling of the SVOD service marks the second recent major departure from Amazon’s video ranks, following the move last month of former Head of Channels Michael Paull to BAMTech. 

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“Euan is a brilliant technologist with a proven track record of delivering world-class video experiences to customers,” Press said, in a statement. “His unique combination of experience, passion and technological prowess makes him the perfect fit to accomplish Comcast VIPER’s ambitious mission of building and deploying a next-generation IP video platform.”