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Video Island taps Calver

World Brief

LONDON — Video Island, the fast-expanding online DVD rental company, has appointed Simon Calver as its new CEO, replacing co-founder Saul Klein.

Klein, who engineered the transition after leading the business through its start-up phase, will remain as a non-executive director.

Calver, who previously served in senior management positions at Dell and PepsiCola, has been hired to take Video Island to the next level of growth, including its expansion from the U.K. into other major European territories.

Video Island launched two years ago, and now has roughly one-third of the U.K.’s online rental business, which itself accounts for around 15% of the DVD rental market.

Video Island has more than 100,000 subscribers, renting more than 700,000 titles a month.

Klein’s decision to step down just two years after starting the business reflects how quickly it has grown.

“Often people who launch a business cannot identify when the right time is to bring in additional support, but although the business has done well we mustn’t rest on our laurels,” Klein said.

“We have raised £15 million ($26.4 million), but we want to turn this into a £100 million ($176 million) company,” he added. “We’re looking at all the major Western European markets.”

Calver, who most recently was president and COO of Riverdeep, an interactive digital education company, commented, “Video Island represents a significant opportunity and I am delighted to be joining a management team and board of blue chip investors with a real passion for growth.”

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