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Roku's Top Media-Advertising Exec, Scott Rosenberg, Sets Departure

Roku platform chief Scott Rosenberg
(Image credit: Roku)

Roku's top media and advertising executive, Scott Rosenberg, will leave the company in the spring, after a decade-long run with the streaming giant, Roku said Friday. 

Rosenberg, who gave no reason for his departure, will remain in charge of Roku's "platform business" until he departs, and he'll have an active role in recruiting his successor, Roku also said. 

The MIT-trained engineer occupies the title of senior VP and general manager of Roku's platform business, a title the former Fulbright Scholar and Umami Co. founder and CEO has held since 2017. Rosenberg joined Roku in November 2021.

Also read: Roku Torpedoed by Yet Another Equity Analyst, Says Streaming Company Is Done Growing in the U.S.

“While Scott remains deeply invested in the company’s success, he’s ready for his next professional challenge and believes this is the right timeframe for him to make a change. I respect and fully support his decision,” said Anthony Wood, Roku founder and CEO, in a statement. “I look forward to working with Scott to ensure a smooth transition, while maintaining our relentless focus on building the best TV streaming platform.”

Said Rosenberg: “Working at Roku these last nine years has been the most rewarding time of my career, without a close second. Deciding to leave was difficult, but made possible by my belief in the incredible bench strength of the Platform team and the company as a whole.”

Roku's platform business -- which includes money made be all the third-party apps running on Roku, as well as AVOD play the Roku Channel -- has grown explosively in recent years, expanding by 82% year over year in the most recently reported quarter (Q3) to $582.5 million. 

But Roku keeps getting dinged on Wall Street, with equity analysts suggesting over and over again that the company's days as the No. 1 supplier of connected TV devices and OS in the U.S. are numbered, with competition from Google, Amazon, Samsung and LG inevitably set to run Roku down. 

Roku's stock tumbled another 6% as of midday trading Friday on the Nasdaq, its market capitalization plummeting below $25 billion, less than half of what it was just six months ago. 

As Next TV noted Thursday after Atlantic Equities' analyst Hamilton Faber sent an investor note that cratered the stock anew, dismissing Roku's longterm value to be only as much as its OS can grow might be a mistake. 

The company has also seen the Roku Channel grow explosively in recent quarters, and Roku just announced a significant investment in original programming for the venture. 

Our question: Might Rosenberg's departure have less to do with a media-advertising executive recognizing that the good times are gone ... and point more to a streaming company pivoting into a business that requires true media-advertising chops and less engineering acumen?