FRISCO, TEXAS—Charlie Vogt, the leader of Imagine Communication’s effort to transition the industry to IP-based solutions for media production, master control and playout, is stepping down as the company’s CEO to serve in a senior advisory role with The Gores Group, the private equity firm that owns Imagine, he announced in a Dec. 5 email to strategic partners and clients. Tom Cotney, a 20-year veteran of the communications and mobile technology industries, is taking over as Imagine’s new CEO, the email said.
In his new role with The Gores Group, Vogt will advise on strategic merger-and-acquisition activity focused on the technology, media and communications sectors, said Vogt.
Vogt has played an instrumental role in the ongoing transition of the television industry from baseband video production, master control and playout to IP-based alternatives that ultimately will enable the industry to benefit from the greater economies of scale of the IT industry. Among the major IP wins of Imagine during Vogt’s tenure were the Disney/ABC Television Group’s move to an IP-enable master control and playout based on Imagine’s VersioCloud software; Kuwait’s Alrai TV cloud playout launch; virtualized playout and delivery at Abu Dhabi Media; Vice Media’s new IP-based production infrastructure and many others.
Vogt also played a leading role along with peers from Grass Valley (Belden), SAM (Snell Advanced Media), Lawo and Nevion in founding the Alliance for IP Media Solutions (AIMS). An initial AIMS goal was establishing a roadmap for IP in media, and subsequent work has been aimed at ensuring interoperability of IP-based equipment following that roadmap. Both goals are seen widely as essential to building confidence among broadcasters and other media professionals that IP-based solutions offer a viable alternative to baseband technology.
“I have been honored to work with the great minds and leaders of the media industry for the past four years, and be assured, Imagine will continue to innovate and grow under Tom’s leadership,” Vogt said in his email.
Cotney joins Imagine having served as CEO at cloud-based mobile messaging provider Mblox where he was instrumental in returning the company to profitability, according to the Imagine website. He also was CEO and a board member for privately held companies such as Air2Web. During his career, Cotney also has been general manager of the Communications Sector at IBM Global Services. There, he as responsible for 8,500 employees and $1.5 billion in annual revenue. Cotney is a graduate of the Terry College of Business at the University of Georgia and has completed executive programs in Strategic Execution and Negotiation at the Harvard Business and Law schools, respectively, the web page said.
Neither Vogt nor Cotney were immediately available for comment.