Apple hires former Time Warner Cable executive for cloud services push

Posted:
in General Discussion edited September 2016
In continuing efforts to build out a strong presence in the crowded cloud services business, Apple recently took on former Time Warner Cable executive Peter Stern to work on subscription-based products including Apple Music.




Stern's hire, uncovered by The Wall Street Journal and confirmed by an Apple spokesman, could help Apple disrupt a deeply entrenched cable television industry.

While at Time Warner Cable, Stern served as chief product, people and strategy officer, assisting the cable giant grow subscribers after years of losses. More importantly, at industry conferences the executive often argued that companies should shift from leasing proprietary set-top boxes to offering their content through apps on a variety of platforms, the report said.

Perhaps not coincidentally, Apple has for years pushed to dislodge cable providers from traditional subscription services to a more dynamic on-demand, app-based product powered by Apple TV, but to no great effect.

In addition to sharing like-minded views on content distribution, Stern was part of a cadre of Time Warner Cable executives who talked with Apple over a potential Apple TV television service, the report said. While the project was ultimately put on ice, it seems Apple found a powerful ally in Stern. The executive has extensive experience in cable industry economics and relationships with major media companies, the report said.

After assisting Time Warner Cable during multiple takeover attempts, Stern departed from the company shortly after it was bought out by Charter Communications earlier this year.

At Apple, Stern will report to SVP of Internet Software and Services Eddy Cue, though whether Stern will be in a position to reboot the company's over-the-top cable efforts is not clear. According to the WSJ, Stern's VP role covers general cloud services, a growing department at Apple that now includes iTunes, iCloud and Apple Music, among other services.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 12
    So in other words...he's doing Eddy Cue's job. 
  • Reply 2 of 12
    I'm curious what experience he has in running cloud services. iCloud is about way more than TV and iTunes/Music.
  • Reply 3 of 12
    irelandireland Posts: 17,092member
    Netflix's original content arm is doing phenomenal work. Apple should have acquired Netflix a couple of years ago.
    propodcwingrav
  • Reply 4 of 12
    ireland said:
    Netflix's original content arm is doing phenomenal work. Apple should have acquired Netflix a couple of years ago.
    Now all Netflix has to do is revamp their Apple TV app bc it is horrible....Amazon Video's interface is insane...anytime someone walks on screen they list a photo and actors name on the left side of the screen
    cwingrav
  • Reply 5 of 12
    Someone from the cable industry? Cable industry? Really?
  • Reply 6 of 12
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 5,885member
    ireland said:
    Netflix's original content arm is doing phenomenal work. Apple should have acquired Netflix a couple of years ago.
    Yeah, and Tim Cook should be fired. We get it. Apple is doomed without your guidance.
  • Reply 7 of 12
    irelandireland Posts: 17,092member
    NY1822 said:
    ireland said:
    Netflix's original content arm is doing phenomenal work. Apple should have acquired Netflix a couple of years ago.
    Now all Netflix has to do is revamp their Apple TV app bc it is horrible....Amazon Video's interface is insane...anytime someone walks on screen they list a photo and actors name on the left side of the screen
    I only use Netflix and YouTube and AirPlay on my TV and that's perfect for my needs, but yes the Netflix app on ATV4 is so bad I'm glad I use an ATV3. Netflix apps on every platform look like that on ATV4. Given totally control they messed it up as they've no clue about UI.

    Care to elaborate on your Amazon Video interface comment? I'm not sure what you're saying. I've never used that service—I've no need.
    cali
  • Reply 8 of 12
    irelandireland Posts: 17,092member

    lkrupp said:
    ireland said:
    Netflix's original content arm is doing phenomenal work. Apple should have acquired Netflix a couple of years ago.
    Yeah, and Tim Cook should be fired. We get it. Apple is doomed without your guidance.
    When did I say Apple is doomed?
  • Reply 9 of 12
    calicali Posts: 3,495member
    macxpress said:
    So in other words...he's doing Eddy Cue's job. 
    Would be good if he took over Apple TV.

    Hmm this kinda reminds me of when Apple hired Jimmy Iovine. They may be up to something.
  • Reply 10 of 12
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 3,506member
    I'm curious what experience he has in running cloud services. iCloud is about way more than TV and iTunes/Music.
    Companies hire managers based on their management ability, not always on their familiarity with a particular type of product. It all depends on what they'll want him to do. 
  • Reply 11 of 12
    The final vote on the FCC proposal for using Apps instead of STB for cable TV is on the 29th of this month.

    After the proposal passes Apple will need to deal with a lot of cable companies offering services on Apple TV.

    That's what I think this hire is primarily for.
  • Reply 12 of 12
    MacProMacPro Posts: 17,169member
    They should hire a few Comcast folks for the Apple torture chamber.
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