Shull, who also will become a member of the TiVo board, will start in the position effective May 31. Interim president/CEO Raghu Rau will assume the role of vice chairperson.
Shull, formerly CEO of the Weather Channel and a longtime Dish Network exec, comes on board after TiVo earlier this month announced plans to split its product and patent-licensing businesses into two independent companies. His appointment comes 11 months after Enrique Rodriguez stepped down as TiVo’s president and CEO just eight months after the ex-AT&T Entertainment Group exec took the job to join John Malone’s Liberty Global cable company as CTO.
Rovi, a provider of entertainment metadata and related services, acquired TiVo for $1.1 billion in 2016 and adopted the DVR pioneer’s name. Both Rovi and legacy TiVo have a history of aggressively pursuing licensing deals with — and litigation against — pay-TV and video companies. Currently, TiVo is locked in a patent licensing dispute with Comcast.
On the product side, the company has continued to offer a line of consumer devices, but has built a much bigger business selling software and services to pay-TV operators as well as internet-video providers. About 22 million subscriber households worldwide use TiVo-based TV technologies, according to the company.
Jim Meyer, TiVo’s chairman, touted Shull’s “strong track record of driving value creating strategic outcomes and operational transformations, most recently at the Weather Channel and before that at Dish… He also has significant M&A experience and is the right person to lead TiVo’s separation process, which we believe will result in significant value for our stockholders.”
TiVo’s 2018 revenue dropped 16%, to $695.9 million, and it reported a net loss of $349 million (which included a $269 million goodwill impairment charge for its product division in the fourth quarter). On Thursday, the company slightly raised expectations for fiscal 2019 versus previous guidance, projecting revenue of $644 million-$660 million (versus $640 million-$654 million) and a loss before taxes of $72 million-$80 million (versus a net loss before taxes of $75 million-$87 million).
Shull most recently served as the CEO of the Weather Channel cable network, acquired last year by Byron Allen’s Entertainment Studios. While at the Weather Channel from 2015-18, Shull separated the company’s digital assets from its TV business, leading to the sale of the digital businesses to IBM in 2016.
Prior to the Weather Channel, Shull worked at Dish and sister company EchoStar for 10 years in various roles, including EVP and chief commercial officer, SVP of programming, managing director of Asia Pacific, and VP of operations.