Joost shifts business strategy

Drops consumer-focused ambition; 100 layoffs result

LONDON -- Online video operator Joost has given up the fight to become a consumer content portal and will refocus its business on technology provision, the company said Tuesday.

Chief executive Mike Volpi will step down but will remain chairman of the board. He will be replaced as CEO by senior vp of engineering Matt Zelesko in a business restructuring that will see around 100 job losses in the U.K., U.S. and the Netherlands.

Volpi had been thought of as contender for the post of ITV executive chairman Michael Grade.

Joost, which launched in 2007 with great fanfare, had promised to be a new global content platform, but struggled to compete against the likes of YouTube, Hulu and Daily Motion.

Earlier this year the company was thought to be in buy-out talks with Time Warner, although the deal did not come off.

The platform struggled to secure key content rights, but aired a selection of library content including "Twin Peaks," "Ultimate Force" and "Bridezillas" as well as content deals with news providers including CBS News and Britain's ITN.

Joost said that going forward it will focus on building "world-class video portals" for clients looking for cost-effective video publishing capacity.
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