Apple Hires Amazon Fire TV Boss to Head Up Apple TV Division
Apple has hired Timothy Twerdahl, the former head of Amazon Fire TV, as VP of Apple TV. The hiring comes at a time when Apple TV is struggling to operate at a profit. Twerdahl replaces Pete Distad, who has now moved to Apple’s content team, run by Eddie Cue.
At Apple, Twerdahl is now a VP in charge of Apple TV product marketing, says a report from Bloomberg. The person that previously held that position, Pete Distad, will now focus on getting content deals done for Apple.
With significant experience in internet-connected TV devices space, Twerdahl will oversee product marketing for Apple TV. Before working with Amazon for four years, he was an executive at Netflix and later vice president in charge of consumer devices at Roku.
The new VP of Apple TV walks into a job where the streaming box that competes with the likes of Fire TV and Roku Ultra, is seeing a decline in sales. Currently, Apple TV falls under the “other” category, which all covers accessories, dongles, and the Apple Watch.
In its first quarter earnings report for fiscal 2017, the category was down 8%, and not because of the Apple Watch, which claimed record sales and revenue. In fact, Apple CFO Luca Maestri blamed Apple TV for the “other” category’s decline in sales.
Apple is known to be investing in original TV content, though in the short term it has its sights set on differentiating itself from music streaming service Spotify rather than becoming a true TV and film content rival to Netflix.