Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Ooyala Gets a New Boss, Jay Fulcher Appointed As CEO

While it's no secret that Ooyala, the Silicon Valley-based online video platform provider, has been searching for the best and brightest talent for its fast growing company -- today they have announced the appointment of Jay Fulcher as President & Chief Executive Officer. Fulcher will join Ooyala and become a member of the Board of Directors, immediately. Former CEO and Co-Founder Bismarck Lepe, who has led the company since its inception in early 2007, has been appointed President of Product Strategy, reporting to Fulcher, and will focus primarily on developing and delivering new products for both the publishing platform and monetization industry.

Last month Techcrunch reported that Ooyala was in the process of an executive search which was not motivated by their investor, Sierra Ventures, but by Bismarck Lepe himself as he didn't necessarily think he was the guy to take the company to the next level. Since he and fellow Co-founders Sean Knapp and brother Belsasar Lepe retain control of the company it's important to make sure that they're doing what's best for shareholders and not managing the company with our egos.

Lepe explained,
"I've been searching for the right guy that's going to help us scale our business for about 6 months now, and after talking to about 25 people who were all very excited about joining and taking the helm as the CEO of the company, we found Jay and invite him and welcome him to the Ooyala family. Jay brings the necessary experience, track record and passion to lead our company. We are extremely pleased to have attracted a CEO of Jay’s caliber to Ooyala. He will have an immediate impact on our aggressive plans for growth.”

Jay Fulcher is a long-time enterprise software industry executive who has held a variety of senior executive roles. Most recently, Fulcher served as President & CEO of Agile Software, where he led the sale of Agile to Oracle in late 2007. Prior to Agile, Fulcher spent five years at PeopleSoft, where he led the transformation of PeopleSoft’s $1+ billion global services organization after being President of its $400 million Products Division. Prior to PeopleSoft, Fulcher held senior executive positions at Red Pepper Software and SAP. He was attracted to Ooyala for its focus on developing "game-changing technology" as he put it and the impact IP-based video will have on the future.

Fulcher said,
“IP-based video is now a powerful reality and with that comes opportunities to better target advertising and deliver the content consumers want on their terms. Ooyala has been able to grow faster than any other Online Video Platform company because of its focus on technology, customer success and personalization. I am excited by the prospect of taking that early success and leveraging it to build a large, innovative and profitable business."

Fulcher is inheriting a very talented, young team that can benefit from experienced leadership given how fierce the competition is in the saturated online video platform space. This change of leadership is part of the evolution of small companies that become very long lasting fixtures in the Valley much like what Larry Page and Sergey Brin did when they brought in Eric Schmidt to lead Google.

In my two-part interview with Bismarck Lepe last month, he described that Ooyala's business was growing at a rapid pace and he estimated that the current market for online video platforms is roughly of 300,000 customers who are people who are willing to pay for an online video platform. Ooyala's partner portfolio includes over 500 enterprise and media companies including Warner Brothers, Wenner Media, Fremantle, Armani, Sybase and Electronic Arts.

Lepe says that we've hit a turning point in online video where companies are pushing more professional content online and there are also additional advertising and monetization options to actually create value for content creators. Ooyala has seen CPMs grow from $2 to well over $10 which helps subsidize higher quality content. With the all the reports that online video viewership continues to rise Ooyala is getting ready for the next big wave.