CableLabs Researcher Joins Joost As CTO: Source

Jason Gaedtke, a one-time Internet engineer at Comcast who joined CableLabs as chief scientist in November, has been recruited to be chief technology officer of Internet TV startup Joost, according to an industry source familiar with the move.

Gaedtke could not be reached for comment. Joost and CableLabs representatives declined to comment.

Joost’s previous CTO, Dirk-Willem van Gulik, left the company to join the BBC’s Future Media and Technology Group as chief technical architect earlier this year.

At CableLabs, Gaedtke led Internet-related research projects on peer-to-peer architectures and services, “semantic Web” incubation and metadata management, and online gaming platforms.

Previously, Gaedtke was chief architect and fellow for Comcast Interactive Media. In January 2007, Gaedtke—speaking at the Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers' Emerging Technologies conference—remarked that Joost is “the high-water mark” for Internet video and that “they’ve proved it can work [and] it’s certainly a competitive threat.”

Joost uses a peer-to-peer architecture to distribute video content among its users’ computers, using proprietary client software. The clips, which include full episodes of some shows, are available on-demand. Joost is also currently experimenting with offering live, peer-to-peer streaming video of the NCAA March Madness tournament.

The company has content-distribution agreements with Viacom and CBS (which are investors) as well as with PBS, Warner Bros. Television Group, Major League Baseball and Turner Broadcasting System.

In January, Joost announced it hired Matt Zelesko, who previously was vice president of engineering for Comcast Interactive Media where he led the team behind the online video platform for Fancast, as its senior vice president of engineering operations.

And last summer Joost hired Mike Volpi as CEO from Cisco Systems, where he was senior vice president and general manager for Cisco's Routing and Service Provider Technology Group, which included Scientific Atlanta.

Joost announced a $45 million round of funding last year from CBS, Viacom, Index Ventures, Sequoia Capital and Chinese multibillionaire Li Ka-Shing.

The startup was founded in January 2006 by Janus Friis and Niklas Zennstrom, who sold their Internet-phone venture Skype to eBay. Joost has offices in New York, London, Luxembourg and The Netherlands.