TiVo to Replace their CEO

TiVo Announces CEO Succession Plan

TiVo is out this morning with news that Chairman and CEO, Michael Ramsay will be stepping down as CEO and they are presently trying to identify a successor. Ramsay will remain as Chairman of the Board and in the CEO post until a successor is identified.

Although one of the first successful PVRs to market with a brand name that has become synonymous with PVR functionality, over the past few years many have criticized Ramsay for being unable to properly market, define and delineate the TiVo experience among what is seen as a growing crowded field of significant competitors in the PVR marketplace. And even as the firm has had subscriber growth over the past year, many people have criticized this growth as mostly coming from their DirecTV partner who most recently has been announcing and promoting their own competitive DVR product.

Although many technology stocks fared poorly in the recent bear market, under Ramsay TiVo’s stock has done particularly poorly. TiVo was trading at around $57 per share at the top of the market and today sits at about $4 per share having lost over 50% of it’s value over the last year and over 30% of it’s value just since January 1st when most technology stocks have been recovering.

All I have to say about this decision out from TiVo this morning is

1. It’s about friggin’ time!


2. How come you’re keeping the bozo around as your Chairman?

The challenge will be for the already cash strapped TiVo to find a suitable replacement without giving away the farm. If Ramsay’s involved in choosing his replacement, don’t worry, he will probably screw this up to.

TV Harmony speculates that TiVo should go after Mark Cuban as their new CEO.

CNET’s coverage

Update: NEW YORK, Jan 12 (Reuters) – TiVo Inc. (TIVO.O: Quote, Profile, Research) chief executive Michael Ramsay, looking to correct what he said was erroneous speculation, on Wednesday said he is not stepping down due to any plans for the sale of the company.

Ramsay told Reuters he was resigning because the television recording technology maker’s strategy is changing.

“The company is not for sale,” Ramsay said in an interview. “The change in management has nothing to do with the possible sale of the company.”

He added that in moving TiVo’s strategy toward features that such as online commerce and Internet transmission of video, “this is … a good time to think about bringing in new leadership.”

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  1. Anonymous says:

    You know nothing about what you are talking about.

  2. Thomas Hawk says:

    Mike, I do know what I’m talking about. It’s not personal buddy. A lot of people like you. You’re a good person. Think of the bright side. You’ve gotten to dump a lot of stock over the course of the last year and pocketed quite a bit of money.

  3. Anonymous says:

    There’s more to a CEO’s job performance than how a company’s stock price does. You sound like an annoyed investor who bought near the peak of the bubble. What exactly were his specific mis-deeds? As a customer I have had a TiVo for over two years and I’ve been very happy with the product.

  4. Anonymous says:

    But in addition to not knowing what you’re talking about, you can’t spell (“to” vs. “too”, “its” vs. “it’s”). You’re the worst kind of armchair CEO. How many successful companies have you run?
    — Not Mike

  5. Thomas Hawk says:


    1. It would have been simple to build a multi tuner system much earlier in the process. A single tuner standalone box is unacceptable these days.

    2. The DirecTV HDTV box had excellent sales. TiVo should have pursued an HDTV strategy for a standalone box much earlier.

    3. Instead of doing either of the above the company spent the last year working on TiVo to Go which only works with less than 50% of their customers.

    4. They should have sold their brand name recognition to another company while the stock was still up rather than let the vultures pick it up in bankruptcy court.

    5. They should have negotiated better with the content providers and brought more original content to the TiVo platform.

    6. They should have been more open and transparent with their customers about the state of their pipeline and allowed their customers to better evangelize their products.

    7. They were a weak negotiator with DirecTV when they had a much stronger hand. They took too little and gave too many concessions in terms of giving up control over the hardware (disabling USB ports, HMO, etc.).

    8. The whole ads over ad skipping technology was a huge PR blunder that will not provide any type of significant revenue to the firm in time to work.

    Amongst other things.

    I’ve never been burned by TiVo’s stock because I’ve never owned it – although I do own two TiVo machines and appreciate the technology. The bottom line is that Ramsay did not do a good job running the business. Don’t take my word for it, take the stock market’s word for it.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Well said Thomas – and your conclusions were so obvious that its not even fair to call it Armchair CEOing…

  7. Anonymous says:

    If they made an analog two tuner TiVo you would be saying they made the TiVo too expensive instead.

    You can not make a good HD box without either integrating into the settop box or using cable card. This also applies back to the two tuner model, without cable card a two tuner model of any standalone type would be too cumbersome or expensive. Can you picture two IR balsters going to two cable boxes.

    The complain that TiVo let DirectTV get too much control of the DirectTiVo box and then also complain that TiVo did not negotiate better with cable companies. All the cable companies wanted was the TiVo software at rock bottom prices. How in the world do you reconcile that both were mistakes?

    TiVos only real mistake is that they did not badger the FCC constantly to get the cable card spec out so TiVo can get down the Stand alone road more easily, but if TiVo can bleed slow enough to see the cable card TiVo come out they will be well positioned in the new – who needs what the cable company tries to foist on us market.

    so in short – You do not know what you are talking about

  8. Anonymous says:

    I’ve been a TiVo owner since the first generation and I love it. But the results speak for themselves. The company has been run poorly for all the reasons stated above.

    The only thing Thomas is wrong about is the simplicity of a dual tuner standalone box. Without CableCards it’s not really feasible.

    But Sony has had CableCard products out for almost 6 months. It’s TiVo’s fault that they are still over a year away from a CableCard product. You can’t blame that on the FCC.

  9. Anonymous says:

    It’s so easy to throw rocks in your dumb blog when you have no idea what you are talking about.

    So ironic that someone with your perfect judgement would say “don’t worry, he will probably screw this up to.”

    when I guess you mean, “too”? I think you screwed that up, guy. You’re fired.

  10. Anonymous says:

    I believe TiVo biggest mistake was the whole monthly fee thing. People hate of monthly payments (at least I do).