Former TWC Exec Mike Hayashi Joins Espial Board

Mike Hayashi, the former long-time Time Warner Cable engineering exec who announced his retirement last fall, has been appointed to the board of directors at Espial, a maker of video software and user interfaces.

Espial -- headquartered in Ottawa, Canada, with R&D centers in the Silicon Valley and the U.K. -- develops UIs powered by HTML5 and has licensed the Reference Design Kit (RDK), the preintegrated software stack for IP-capable set-tops and other video devices that is being managed by Comcast, TWC, and Liberty Global.

Espial announced last month that a “major,” but unidentified European cable operator with more than 1.5 million homes passed had selected Espial’s RDK platform, including its client software for DVB/IP set-tops, user experience and backoffice service management platform. Espial, which has RDK-facing deals with another MSO in Europe and a “tier-1” in North America, has a list of customers and partners that includes Vodafone, KDDI, Com Hem, Sagecom, Pace, Arris, Cisco Systems, Panasonic Technicolor and Samsung, among others.

Hayashi, a 36-year-cable industry vet who most recently served as TWC’s executive vice president, architecture, announced in September 2014 that he would retire from the MSO at the end of that year. Espial’s announcement said Hayashi’s retirement from TWC became effective in March 2015.  At TWC, Hayashi was a leading developer of next-gen cable products and services, including advanced analog, digital video, cable telephony, and video-on-demand. 

“Mike is one of the most innovative and respected technology executives in our industry, and we're excited to have him join Espial’s board of directors," said Jaison Dolvane, CEO of Espial, in a statement. "Mike’s insight, experience and industry knowledge will be invaluable to Espial's future plans." 

“Espial has developed impressive solutions that enable network operators to create an immersive, personalized user experience for their subscribers,” Hayashi added. “Their leadership and customer momentum around RDK is a key success ingredient for our industry in this critical time of growing competition. I'm excited to work with Jaison, Espial’s board, and the leadership team as they help major operators around the world launch compelling new video services.” 

Hayashi, who played a key role in Warner Cable’s pioneering, seven-year “Qube” interactive TV project (read this story about the group’s reunion in 1998), is also late of Scientific-Atlanta (now part of Cisco Systems) and Pioneer Communications. Hayashi graduated from St. Joseph College (Yokohama, Japan) in 1974, earned a B.S. in Engineering from Harvey Mudd College in 1978, and an MBA from The Ohio State University in 1986.