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Starz Hires Atom Tickets CEO Ameesh Paleja as Chief Technology Officer

Ameesh Paleja is departing as CEO of Lionsgate-backed Atom Tickets, the social-movie ticketing startup he co-founded, to join Lionsgate’s Starz as chief technology officer.

In the newly created CTO role at Starz, Paleja will report directly to Starz COO Jeffrey Hirsch and will be based in the company’s Englewood, Colo., office.

Paleja served as CEO of Atom Tickets since 2014. He will continue serving on Atom Tickets’ board and as an adviser to the company. Separately, on Thursday, Atom Tickets announced $60 million in funding led by Fidelity, with participation from Lionsgate, Disney, and 20th Century Fox. A rep for Atom Tickets said chairman and co-founder Matthew Bakal will continue to lead the company; Bakal’s title won’t change and Atom Tickets isn’t looking to name a new CEO.

Hirsch called Paleja “a visionary and world-class technologist whose substantial experience with digital distribution platforms will deepen our brands’ connection with consumers and provide audiences the highest-quality entertainment possible.

Prior to co-founding Atom Tickets, Paleja began his career at Microsoft in 2001, then moved to Amazon.com in 2003 where he spent nearly 12 years. At Amazon, Paleja helped launch Prime Instant Video, Amazon’s Appstore, Cloud Drive, and the Kindle product line. He then became the founding employee of Amazon’s R&D facilities in Southern California, where he oversaw more than 550 employees.

Paleja, commenting on his move to Starz, said: “Connecting customers to the content they’ll love has been a longtime passion of mine. Starz has some incredible storytellers and I am excited to help connect their stories to millions of new customers around the world.”

Paleja earned a bachelor’s of science degree in computer science from UC San Diego. He currently holds 24 patents in digital video and related fields.

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