Ex-Cisco Dealmaker Volpi Joins Old Friends at Joost

Ad-supported Internet TV service Joost has hired Cisco vet Mike Volpi as its new CEO. Volpi, who will replace original CEO Fredrik de Wahl, has ties to Joost’s co-founders through their venture, Skype.

Volpi will take the reins at Joost “effective immediately,” according to a statement on the Joost Web site.

“Mike’s leadership abilities in combination with his vision and technological expertise are unsurpassed and will serve as a powerful driving force in the realization of the company’s vision,” said Joost’s executive co-chairman and co-founder Janus Friis in the statement.

Friis, along with Joost co-founder Niklas Zennstrom were also the masterminds behind VoIP service Skype and peer-to-peer platform Kazaa. Volpi has sat on the board at Skype. The new CEO reportedly oversaw 70-some mergers and acquisitions while at Cisco, indicating he has a variety of business connections that could prove fruitful for the video startup. Volpi was not available for comment for this story.

Joost, currently in its beta phase, has signed deals with CBS, Viacom, Warner Bros. Television Group, and most recently Next New Networks, which will provide Joost niche content focused on comics, DIY fashion and classic cartoons.

Joost signed three-month contracts with over 30 brand advertisers, such as Coca-Cola and General Motors in April. The site offers advertisers still images, mid-roll video spots, overlays, widgets, branded entertainment and channel sponsorships.

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