Apple hires Amazon Fire TV head to lead Apple TV

Kari ReynoldsFeb 09, 2017

Apple Inc. has hired Timothy D. Twerdahl, the former head of Inc.'s Fire TV unit, as a vice president in charge of Apple TV product marketing and shifted the executive who previously held the job to a spot negotiating media content deals.

Apple confirmed the report to Bloomberg, saying that Twerdahl joined the company earlier this month. Also, it is believed that bringing Twerdahl on board will help the former head of Apple TV product marketing, Pete Distad, to land content deals with other companies, which is now headed by Eddy Cue.

Apple Inc. has seen a drop in Apple TV sales year-over-year. Apple's "other products" category, which includes the Apple TV, generated a little more than 5% of Apple's sales in fiscal 2016.

Apple TV has barely changed since launching in 2015 although the diminutive black box does now boast a new TV app and single sign-on functionality in tvOS 10 having previously struggled to gain traction from content providers. (NASDAQ: NFLX ) and a vice president overseeing consumer devices at Roku.

Distad is also nicely fit for his new position, as his combined efforts of running the Apple TV division before Twerdahl and having a role at Hulu in the past should help make securing the content deals an easier task. His hiring shows that despite the fact Apple hasn't refreshed the hardware since 2015, the firm is keen to assign resources to Apple TV.

Apple developed the fourth-generation Apple TV with an aim of providing a full a-la-carte television service capable of replacing traditional cable and satellite packages and similar to Sony's PlayStation Vue service.

In bringing in Twerdahl, Apple adds an executive with a strong background in internet streaming.

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