Peter Sealey, the man who introduced CAA topper Michael Ovitz to Coca-Cola Co., has been tapped to manage the day-to-day operations of the fledgling Interactive Network Inc.

Interactive, the Bay Area company whose subscribers compete with each other on television sports and game shows, named Sealey president and chief operating officer.

The company’s big financial backers include Tele-Communications Inc., NBC, Gannett Co. and A.C. Nielsen.

Sealey replaces David Lockton as president, who will retain his chief executive title and add the job of chairman. Lockton said the move will free him to work on the research and development side of the business while Sealey manages the company as it moves from a start-up to an ongoing business.

“I’m a deal-maker and an entrepreneur,” Lockton said. “Pete’s a much better manager than I am.”

Lockton took the chairman title from his cousin, John Lockton, who remains as a director.

Sealey left his job as Coke’s senior vice president of global marketing in July (Daily Variety, July 22), and was also head of marketing and distribution of Columbia Pictures in the mid-1980s, when Coke owned it.

While he was at Coca-Cola, Sealey signed up Ovitz’s CAA to help develop a new ad campaign for the soft drink company. CAA came up with the company’s current “Always Coca-Cola” campaign.

Sealey ankled Coke amid rumors that the company plans to move back toward more traditional advertising development.

Sealey has been running a consulting firm since he left Coke, and said he is excited about moving from a multinational company to the small tech firm.

“It’s going to be far more flexible than Coke. You’re faster. You’re more focused,” Sealey said. “And interactivity is the next frontier.”

Sealey will start Jan. 3, after completing his Ph.D. dissertation in strategic management and information technology.

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