CEO of Chernin Group-AT&T Online-Video Joint Venture Exits

Virasb Vahidi has departed as CEO of Otter Media, the online-video joint venture of AT&T and Chernin Group.

The companies hired the former American Airlines and AT&T exec in September 2014 to run the JV, which has pooled of $500 million to acquire, invest in and launch OTT video services.

Vahidi said in a memo to employees that since “it has become clear… that the role of the CEO is different than we had originally envisioned.” A rep for Otter Media confirmed Vahidi’s departure, which was first reported by Re/Code.

Chernin Group and AT&T formed Otter Media in April 2014, and subsequently acquired a majority stake in Fullscreen, the YouTube multichannel network headed by founder and CEO George Strompolos. The JV also owns stakes in subscription-video service Crunchyroll and how-to craft site Creativebug.

Before joining Otter Media, Vahidi was chief commercial officer at American Airlines, where he expanded the reach of its global network and broadened partnerships and led the modernization of the airline’s fleet. Prior to that, he spent four years at AT&T, beginning in 2002, as senior VP of corporate strategy and planning.

Otter Media’s board of directors includes Chernin Group’s Peter Chernin and Jesse Jacobs; AT&T chief strategy officer John Stankey; and David Christopher, chief marketing officer of AT&T’s wireless division.

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