Hood departs mobile home


Lucy Hood, perhaps the leading executive in the field of mobile entertainment, has resigned as CEO of Jamba and president of Fox Mobile.

Hood was responsible for bringing text-message voting to "American Idol" and is credited with introducing the term "mobisode," a shortform series produced exclusively for mobile.

"I'm eager to pursue more entrepreneurial ventures, and I'm looking forward to the next opportunity," Hood said Wednesday. Her spokeswoman declined to elaborate on her plans.

Mobile entertainment remains a difficult area for entertainment companies to navigate. Disney previously shuttered two of its recently launched mobile services. It is a huge business overseas but has yet to gain a solid foothold in the U.S. media landscape.

Jamba COO Lee Fenton will take over for Hood until the News Corp. division finds a new CEO.

Hood had been with News Corp. for more than a decade and was instrumental in setting the conglomerate's mobile strategy. She helped launch Fox Mobile Entertainment in 2005 and a year later was named CEO of Jamba, News Corp.'s joint venture with VeriSign, known as Jamster in the U.S.

In early 2006, Hood oversaw the launch of Mobizzo, a mobile content venture available via Cingular and T-Mobile. Mobizzo offered paid ringtones, screensavers and games based on News Corp. properties and other content from outside the company.

Nine months later, though, News Corp. changed its course and set its sights on the VeriSign-owned Jamba, a profitable German mobile content provider responsible for the "Crazy Frog" international fad. In September 2006, Hood oversaw the conglomerate's efforts to gain a majority of the company, with News Corp. paying $188 million for 51% of its shares and agreeing to run the company along with VeriSign.

Fenton, Hood's immediate replacement, was appointed COO in February and previously was at Vodafone, where he was global director of consumer marketing and global director of consumer products and content.