George Kliavkoff Named CEO of Jaunt

Jaunt, a startup that specializes in cinematic virtual reality fare, has appointed media industry vet George Kliavkoff as chief executive officer.

Kliavkoff  replaces Arthur van Hoff, who has served as interim CEO and will resume his role as chief technology officer. Kliavkoff will relocate from New York City to Silicon Valley, the company said. Former Jaunt CEO and company cofounder Jens Christensen stepped down earlier this year.

Kliavkoff joins Jaunt from Hearst Corporation, where he was co-president of Entertainment & Syndication, the operating unit managing Hearst's interests in cable television networks, including ESPN, Lifetime, A&E and History; television production and distribution; newspaper syndication; and merchandise licensing. He was also president of Hearst Ventures. Prior to that, Kliavkoff was chief digital officer at NBCUniversal, and served on the board of Hulu, and was an executive vice president for Major League Baseball Advanced Media (MLBAM).  

Jaunt has raised more than $100 million and counts The Walt Disney Company, Evolution Media Partners, Google Ventures, and The Madison Square Garden Company among its backers. Of recent note, Jaunt announced it was working with VR content creators via a new publishing program. In addition to a VR publishing platform, its products also include the Jaunt ONE camera and Jaunt Cloud Services (JCS).

“George’s strategic vision and expertise scaling innovative global media companies are exactly the right combination to take Jaunt to the next level,” van Hoff said, in a statement. “His proven track record for introducing forward-thinking video technology platforms to mainstream audiences makes him an exceptional fit for us. The board and I are thrilled that he is joining the company.”

“I have been consistently impressed by Jaunt and am excited to lead the team at this point in the company’s evolution,” added Kliavkoff. “Jaunt is set to dramatically change the way people enjoy immersive content, and the company is setting the bar in innovation and cinematic storytelling excellence in virtual reality.”

Founded in 2013, Jaunt said it has already built more than 100 cinematic VR experiences, and its app is available on iOS, Android, Gear VR, Oculus Rift, HTC Vive and Desktop 360.