Tribune Co. has appointed digital and Internet veteran Shashi Seth as president of Tribune Digital Ventures, a newly-formed unit of the company that will create, design, and develop new digital products and businesses that leverage Tribune’s strength in local content and data, and extend the reach of its distribution platform. Tribune Digital Ventures will be located in Silicon Valley and operate as a stand-alone unit of Tribune Co.
“The launch of Tribune Digital Ventures as its own entity, operating outside of our publishing and broadcasting divisions, is a demonstration of Tribune’s commitment to its digital future and to thinking differently about the digital space,” said Tribune’s chief executive officer, Peter Liguori. “We want Tribune Digital Ventures to have a start-up mentality, an entrepreneurial spirit, and tremendous freedom to operate. In Shashi, we’ve found someone with the perfect blend of passion, vision, imagination and experience who can build this business from the ground up.”
Over the course of his career, Seth has spearheaded innovation, growth and success at some of the world’s most iconic digital companies, including Yahoo!, Google, YouTube and eBay. During his tenure at Yahoo!, Seth and his team were responsible for a wide range of popular products, including Yahoo! Search and Yahoo! Mail & Messenger. Seth will report to Liguori and begin his new duties immediately.
“Tribune’s businesses are built on content, content, content—we have to find new and creative ways to leverage it for consumers,” said Seth. “That means new products, new applications, and new ways of maximizing the power and reach of Tribune’s distribution platform.”
Tribune Digital Ventures will also be responsible for exploring new avenues for the digital use of original content developed by Tribune Studios; identifying and pursuing strategic opportunities and potential partners in the digital space; and recruiting talented, creative and experienced people within the digital industry.
As president of the unit, Seth will be responsible for setting its vision and strategy, overseeing day-to-day operations and execution, and building a team focused on digital innovation.
As Yahoo!’s SVP for its Connections Business Unit in 2012, Seth oversaw products that generated $2.6 billion in annual revenue and created more than $200 million in new revenue. He played an important role in the re-imagination and re-launch of Yahoo! Search, including a brand new search product called Axis. Prior to that, Seth served as Yahoo!’s SVP/Search and Marketplaces, where he led the company’s search business and grew its market share.
Before joining Yahoo!, Seth was SVP/Global Advertising Products and Search at AOL, where he was responsible for running the company’s search business and for supporting products such as Advertising.com, Quigo, Tacoda, and Adtech. From 2007 to 2008, Seth was responsible for monetizing content at YouTube, where he grew revenue from zero to more than $100 million, and jumpstarted the video advertising business. At Google, Seth was product lead for search from 2005 to 2007.
“Shashi understands the digital space, as well as its users,” said Liguori. “He knows how to build great products that meet a user’s needs, has operated on broad scale, and has created and managed very large businesses. He’s going to bring that experience to Tribune and apply it to our media businesses with speed, innovation and ingenuity.”