Since last December, BAMTech has been looking for a new CEO as founder Bob Bowman announced that he intended to step aside as president and chief executive for the streaming technology firm. Approximately two months later, the company has found its man.
On Tuesday, MLB Advanced Media (MLBAM) announced that Michael Paull has been named as the new CEO. Paull was previously with Amazon, where he served as vice president, digital video. In that position, he ran Amazon Channels and was responsible for the company’s global content, product, technology, operations and marketing. During his five-year tenure with Amazon, he also oversaw Prime Video and its on-demand business, while also helping to develop Prime Music.
BAMTech provides streaming video and over-the-top content for a variety of sports leagues and outlets, including MLB, the NHL, ESPN, the NFL (for Thursday Night Football on Twitter) and the PGA Tour, in addition to esports. The company also provides the streaming technology for HBO and WWE (though HBO is attempting to exit its deal with BAMTech). BAMTech also expanded into Europe, partnering with Discovery Communications.
(3) Paull will report to BAMTech board: Rob Manfred, Bob Bowman, Larry Baer, David Glass, Gary Bettman, Kevin Mayer, John Skipper #sportsbiz
— Scott Soshnick (@soshnick) February 21, 2017
Last year, Disney purchased a 33 percent share in the company, with a four-year option to buy a controlling stake from MLB. (The NHL owns a seven percent stake in BAMTech.)
As Bloomberg Technology’s Scott Soshnick reports, Paull’s chief objective will be to help ESPN launch its over-the-top subscription service that will ideally stanch the migration of subscribers who have cut their cable and satellite service in recent years, leading to major losses for ESPN and corporate parent Disney. His experience running similar services for Amazon presumably makes him the ideal successor to Bowman.
“The team at BAMTech has created a best in class Over-The-Top video streaming platform allowing them to develop innovative solutions for their customers,” Paull said in MLBAM’s official statement. “I am grateful to have the opportunity to work with this highly accomplished team and want to thank Major League Baseball and The Walt Disney Company for this exciting opportunity.”
“Michael is a talented and accomplished executive who shares our collective vision for BAMTech as it aggressively explores new means to acquire and distribute video content,” added MLB commissioner Rob Manfred. “We are confident Michael will deliver on the incredible potential and promise this venture has for building powerful viewing experiences for its clients and their customers.”