Canoe gets some oars; Verklin hires COO
Nascent interactive cable platform Canoe Ventures is entering a new phase with the appointment of its first chief operating officer, Kathy Timko. Her mission: Help Canoe’s considerable ambitions in the advanced advertising realm get to scale fast.Timko was most recently the chief operating officer of global phone giant IDT, where she was involved in pricing and business metrics operations.
Canoe Ventures CEO David Verklin says her appointment, made largely to execute on his own vision, should quiet naysayers given Timko’s skillset. “Kathy’s arrival is another milestone. This is not a pipedream of six wandering MSOs, this is a single company, Canoe, moving into a building phase with one of the top engineering talents in the country,” Verklin says. “This is a big challenge taking six disparate MSO plants and turning them into a highly scaled and high transaction business with hundreds of spots a day across 40-50 networks and enable addressability.”
Verklin is currently persuading programming networks to get on board. “They are really enthusiastic. There is a real feeling that this will give them some engagement metrics and by next year we’ll talk about campaigns and statistics.”
The goal is to provide addressability by the fourth quarter of 2009. Verklin says the most interested advertisers were those with an element of direct marketing, companies such as L.L.Bean, with a need to connect with interested customers via RFIs or requests for information via cable VOD platforms. He acknowledges there was some anxiety among agencies who want to know more about the operational process.
Timko holds a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University and an M.S. in Computer Science from Boston University. She beat out 40 other candidates for the job. Verklin describes the search as the most exhaustive he’s ever been involved in.
“We’re taking planning and turning it into action,” Timko says. “It really involves taking more of an inward focus and capitalizing on the inflection point we’re at. We need to take concepts and get them built into structure.”
New York-based Canoe Ventures represents Bright House Networks, Cablevision Systems Corp., Charter Communications Inc., Comcast Corp., Cox Communications Inc., and Time Warner Cable. The company’s states its mission is to “make cable’s advanced advertising solutions easier to buy, use and measure.”