Yahoo’s Panama Man Crosses to Internet TV Player Veoh

Steve Mitgang, the man behind the Yahoo Panama Project, has taken a CEO position with San Diego-based Internet TV startup Veoh Networks. Mitgang left Yahoo earlier this year.

Mitgang will fill the CEO slot currently held by Veoh founder Dmitry Shapiro, who will now have Veoh business cards labeling him “Founder and Chief Innovation Officer.” The company said Shapiro will remain active with the business, focusing on advancing its technology platforms and “consumer standards” while serving as Veoh’s representative in the industry.

Along with the announcement of the Mitgang hire, Veoh said it has snagged Jennifer Betka from Sirius Satellite Radio, where she played a big part in interactive strategy and marketing initiatives including the rollout of Sirius Internet Radio. She will be the Veoh’s senior vice president of marketing.

Currently, Veoh serves video delivered with pre- and post-roll ads, as well as contextual ads served against searches for content. When it comes to interactive, Veoh is pretty much open to anything that connects viewers with advertisers, said Betka. “We, like everybody, are still experimenting,” said Betka. “We don’t think we’ve cracked that code for sure. We’re excited to experiment and we think Steve has got some incredible experience…. We think he’s going to be a really big contributor in helping us develop that aspect of the business.”

Betka said she will also be relying on her experience working for AOL where, she said, she worked for many years “starting at the point they introduced advertising” on their service. “What I bring to the table spans back to that and to working with agencies and trying to leverage interactive early on,” said Betka.

Mitgang was most recently known for his role in the creation of Yahoo’s Panama ad platform. Before becoming a Yahoo executive, Mitgang was CEO of Web analytics company Keylime Software, which was acquired by Overture Services in 2003. At Overture, which was eventually bought by Yahoo, Mitgang led the performance marketing group.

Veoh.com delivers broadcast-quality video programming via the Web, and has deals with more than 85,000 content producers including Paramount Pictures, Lions Gate and PBS.

The company also distributes VeohTV, a free video player Betka describes as “a way for people to view video in a full-screen, TV-like” fashion. The player allows viewers to record the programming onto their computer and the newest version includes a simplified, browser-based interface that includes a recommendation engine which searches the Web and recommends videos the viewer might enjoy, she said.

According to Veoh, the Veoh.com user base grew through June to 14.3 million unique users, up from 4.4 million users when the service was launched in February.

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