Pinkerton, who joined Roku last month, will “lead technical innovation and strategic software development,” according to the company. He has more than 30 years of experience in leadership roles “focused on human-centered problems in computer systems and natural language processing,” according to his bio on Roku’s site.
Before joining Apple in January 2018, Pinkerton was CTO of the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, the philanthropic org formed by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan. He previously spent more than five years at Amazon, most recently as VP of search and GM of the company’s A9 search and advertising technology initiative.
Earlier in his career, Pinkerton served as a search technology exec for companies including LucidWorks, Technorati, Scout Labs and AOL (which acquired his company WebCrawler, one of the first internet search engines, before selling it to Excite). He has a PhD in computer science from the University of Washington.
Roku’s hiring of Pinkerton was first reported by Bloomberg.
Separately, earlier this fall Roku chief marketing officer Matthew Anderson said he will leave the company after seven years to join James Murdoch’s Lupa Systems investment firm as a strategic adviser.
Roku recently released the OS 9.4 update of its operating system for select 4K models of its streaming devices, soundbars and TVs, which includes support for Apple AirPlay 2 and HomeKit. Via AirPlay 2, Roku customers can use the HBO Max app for Apple devices to “cast” content directly to supported Roku players — providing a workaround in the absence of a native HBO Max app for Roku, which has been in a stalemate with WarnerMedia on a deal for the streaming service.