Time Warner Cable Exec Set to ‘Start Over’

Time Warner Cable has lost the talents of John Callahan, the technology executive who was instrumental in creating the operator’s first video-on-demand services, the popular Start Over feature and its on-screen interactive program guide.

Callahan, who joined the company in 1993, resigned Thursday. Most recently, he was a senior vice president in the company’s Denver-based Advanced Technology Group, heading software architecture and development for Time Warner Cable’s digital navigation platform.

Reached via e-mail, Callahan politely declined to comment about his departure. Time Warner Cable corporate communications manager Justin Venech confirmed that Callahan was leaving the company but had no further comment.

In an internal memo to employees, obtained by Multichannel News, Mike Hayashi, Time Warner Cable’s senior vice president of advanced engineering and technology, said that Callahan was “leaving to pursue a new opportunity.”

“His impact will be long felt and we will miss his technical expertise, his leadership and his humor!” Hayashi wrote. (Venech also confirmed the authenticity of the memo.)

Callahan was a member of the core engineering team at Time Warner Cable that designed and deployed the industry’s first digital, interactive television systems in the early 1990s. That project, known as the Full Service Network, evolved into the Pegasus digital television platform that the operator uses in all of its Scientific Atlanta-based systems.

In addition, Callahan is credited as a principal developer of Time Warner’s VOD and MystroTV, the network-based digital video recorder system that became Start Over. The operator has won Technical Emmy awards for its VOD service and for Start Over, which lets viewers rewind in-progress programs to the beginning.

In his last role with the operator, Callahan directed the team that created the Mystro Digital Navigator IPG and ported the software to the OpenCable Platform for two-way cable applications (now called tru2way).

Before joining Time Warner Cable, Callahan worked in systems software engineering and development at AT&T Bell Labs and US West.