LINKS 4/30: SAP's new CIO is only 31; Bloomberg knocks some consumer subscription services for lack of transparency

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The Future of Shopping:
Trapping You in a Club You Didn't Know You Joined
A knock on some consumer subscription services, including those of two First Round Capital portfolio companies.

Most of Yahoo’s shortlisted bidders reportedly offering cash deals
Liberty Media said to be on short list, though I'm not sure its made a bid yet.

SAP Taps Thomas Saueressig to Succeed Helen Arnold as CIO (WSJ: CIO Journal)
SAP's new CIO is all of 31 years old.

Why image recognition is about to transform business (TechCrunch)


Rovi, with significant Philly area presence and roots, buys TiVo

Tom Paine

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Rovi, which yesterday announced it was acquiring TiVo for $1.1 billion, is based in San Carlos, CA, but has a strong Philly connection.

Of some 1000+ US employees, about 200 are located in the Philly area, according to Rovi's LinkedIn page .

Presumably, most are based in Rovi's location on East Swedesford Rd in Wayne, in view of Route 202.

What exactly Rovi does in Wayne, as opposed to its other locations, at this time is not entirely clear.

Much of Rovi's presence here can be traced to its (when it was called Macrovision) acquisition of Gemstar-TV Guide International in 2008. Gemstar-TV Guide was a 1999 combination of Radnor-based TV Guide (which Rupert Murdoch's News Corp bought as part its acquisition of Walter Annenberg's Triangle Publications for $3 billion in 1988) and Gemstar, and aimed to dominate not only the market for TV schedule listings but also the codes used to record programs to DVRs.

However, Gemstar-TV Guide shrunk in value in the circa-2000 tech crash and never really recovered. Gemstar's market capitalization fell from a high of $20 billion in 2000 to a low of little more than $1 billion in 2005.

Comcast and Gemstar-TV Guide International formed a joint venture in 2004, GuideWorks, LLC, to create and market interactive program guides for digital cable television, with Comcast owning a majority stake in the venture.

Rovi pulled out of the Guideworks joint venture in 2010.

Rovi, much like TiVo, exerts considerable effort protecting and gently reminding others of its presumed patent rights. In early April, Rovi filed suit against Comcast and its set-top suppliers, claiming they were infringing upon 14 of Rovi’s U.S. patents that deliver features such as remote recording, its AnyRoom DVR (multi-room) capabilities, and search for its X1 platform.

                                  Tom Carson
                                     Rovi President & CEO

John Burke, EVP & COO, appears to be Rovi's top ranking officer based out of Wayne. He
is a former top Motorola Home (now Arris) executive. Rovi President & CEO Tom Carson is a Villanova grad.

The combined company would take the TiVo name.