Jinni Officially Announces Appointment of Mike Pohl as CEO

--Company Recently Announced Partnerships with OpenTV, SeaChange International

Jinni, an Israeli company that offers a semantic search-and-recommendation engine that it says is based on "content genetics and user psychographics," on Wednesday officially announced the appointment of Mike Pohl as CEO. According to Jinni, Pohl--who has been serving as its CEO since at least August (see the article published on itvt.com, August 12th)--has 25 years of telecommunications industry experience and a decade of focus on next-generation services such as VOD and advanced advertising. "Mike is respected for his ability to really understand the business ramifications of new technologies," Yosi Glick, Jinni's co-founder and president, said in a prepared statement. "We believe Jinni's holistic approach, combining semantic search, personalized recommendations, and innovative taste profiling, will redefine entertainment discovery. Mike is the perfect choice to help us bring this solution to market."

Pohl--who serves on the boards of Ascent Media and BigBand Networks--was previously president of the Global Strategies Group at C-COR. Prior to that, he was president and CEO of VOD technology provider, nCUBE. His resume also includes stints at SkyConnect, Douglas Communications and Arris (where he was general manager of the On-Demand Systems Division).

Jinni bills its technology as addressing the challenge faced by today's entertainment consumers in trying to find the content they want from an increasing array of on-demand choices. The company claims the technology makes for an "intuitive and flexible discovery process that helps consumers find what fits their moods and personal tastes at that moment." It is offered as a software-as-a-service (SaaS) solution that Jinni says includes hosted services and API's and enables content discovery on PC's, game consoles and set-top boxes. "Content discovery today is based on keyword searches that don't factor in the personal and emotional aspects of what a consumer wants to watch," Pohl said in a prepared statement. "Jinni's intelligent approach, based on proprietary algorithms, reflects the way people think and talk about entertainment, and shifts the spotlight from rigid categories and keyword search to results that match a real consumer's tastes. For example, a search for 'funny action movie with a surprise twist' or 'smart love story' will yield real results. Our taste engine also creates a unique model of the consumer's likes and dislikes, which is the basis for recommendations and a highly personalized experience. For example, Jinni can tell that I like clever gangster movies about cons and scams, as well as witty urban romantic movies about opposites that attract."

Jinni recently announced partnerships with OpenTV and SeaChange International (see the articles published on itvt.com, August 12th and September 9th), and also teamed with NDS on a demo at the IBC show in Amsterdam earlier this month.

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