NDS Promotes Three Senior Executives

Conditional access and interactive TV technology provider, NDS, announced three senior management promotions last month:

  • Jesper Knutsson has been named VP and general manager of sales for NDS Americas (note: he continues to serve as a member of the NDS executive committee), following the departure of NDS co-founder, Dov Rubin, who has been named CEO of Israel-based Itamar Medical. Knutsson will be responsible for overall sales strategy in the US and Canada, as well as implementing new business initiatives, and, NDS says, "helping customers capitalize on emerging interactive TV applications." "Jesper brings extensive knowledge of interactive television content, development and implementation to the US market, which is only just beginning to see the real promise of interactivity in pay-TV viewing," David Nabozny, NDS's chief sales officer, said in a prepared statement. "As the US team continues to expand its customer base, which includes DirecTV, Cox Communications and Cablevision, Jesper brings a unique portfolio of skills to the US at an auspicious time." Knutsson was previously NDS's VP of interactive TV, and was based in Denmark where the NDS interactive division is headquartered (note: he will continue to oversee NDS Denmark). According to the company, that role saw him working closely on the development of various ITV applications for QVC, interactive games such as the Golf LaunchPad/XTV Experience, and branded content for major broadcasters such as Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network. He joined NDS when the company acquired Visionik in 2002. "This is a very exciting time to be asked to lead our team in North America as the US gears up to go completely digital in February 2009," Knutsson said in a prepared statement. "NDS brings a wealth of advanced applications and new technologies to this hungry market, and I look forward to contributing to this already successful US business as we help shape the way Americans enjoy their television experience."
  • The company has given Caroline LeBigot responsibility for its business in Latin America, in addition to her existing role heading up its EMEA operations. Her title will now be SVP of EMEA and Latin America, and general manager of NDS France, and she will continue to serve on the NDS executive committee. "Over the last five years Caroline has made numerous contributions to NDS, including the integration of NDS France," NDS chairman and CEO, Abe Peled, said in a prepared statement. "She has assumed ever-increasing responsibility, most recently spearheading our success in Germany working with Premiere, Tele Columbus, Arcor and Kabel BW. The nascent digital TV market in Latin America represents a significant potential opportunity for NDS. Caroline has an established track record of successfully managing international businesses, making her an excellent choice to lead our organization's expansion in the region." LeBigot was previously VP of broadband access products for Europe and Asia at Thomson, and, prior to that, VP of Thomson's worldwide cable and retail digital decoder business. Her resume also includes a three-year stint as general manager of Gemplus' EMEA division, and a 12-year stint at Apple, where she rose to the position of marketing director for the EMEA publishing and media division. She has a master's degree from the Institut d'Etudes Politiques in Paris, and underwent management training at France's Haute Ecole de Commerce.
  • Sue Taylor has been promoted to SVP and general manager for the Asia Pacific region. She too will continue to be a member of the NDS executive committee. She joined the company in 1995 at its regional headquarters in Hong Kong, where she supported Star TV as it launched a DTV service that employed NDS's conditional access systems. "Since joining us 13 years ago, Sue has done an outstanding job establishing NDS as the leading player in Asia," NDS's Peled said in a prepared statement. "She has built a first-rate team and grown our business in the region from a single customer to over 30 customers and over $150 million in revenues." According to NDS, its customers in the Asia Pacific region include Astro (Malaysia), Bharti Airtel, Tata Sky, and Hathway Cable & Datacom (India), CCTV, China Cable Network, Sichuan Cable Network, Guizhou Cable TV (China), STAR (Hong Kong), China Network Systems (Taiwan), Foxtel (Australia), Indovision (Indonesia), SkyLife, KT (Korea), and Sky TV (New Zealand). The company recently announced that it had invested over $120 million in India since opening its research-and-development center in Bangalore in 2000.