Intel’s TV project loses key exec months before going to market

Intel (s INTC) Media, the chip giant’s ambitious attempt to reinvent pay TV, has lost a key executive just months before going to market. Jim Baldwin, who was working as VP of Engineering for Intel Media, has left the company.


Jim Baldwin was Intel Media’s VP of Engineering until his departure in April.

An Intel Media spokesperson confirmed this when contacted by GigaOM, saying that “Baldwin left Intel Media to pursue opportunities outside the company.” Baldwin’s Linkedin profile put the change a bit more bluntly, listing “retired” as his current job. Intel Media’s spokesperson didn’t have any further comment on the circumstances of his departure, and Baldwin didn’t respond to a request for comment.

Baldwin came to Intel from Microsoft, where he served as CTO for the Interactive Entertainment Business unit as well as Engineering Director for Microsoft’s Mediaroom business. A recent job offer for Intel Media included this tidbit about Baldwin’s bio:

“Jim joined Microsoft in 1997 as a part of the WebTV acquisition, Jim has been a key architect of digital video technology for various products including the WebTV Plus, Echostar Dishplayer, DirecTV UltimateTV and Microsoft TV. ”

No matter the circumstances, losing a key exec during the last stretch of the race can’t be good news for Intel Media. The project is currently running a private test in three markets, and Intel Media boss Erik Huggers said in February that the service will be available to consumers before the end of the year. Intel’s spokesperson had this to say about the impact of the departure: “He will be missed, but we have a very strong engineering organization in place with a deep leadership bench.”

Intel Media wants to offer consumers a TV subscription service over the internet, complete with a catch-up feature that will allow viewers to go back and view anything that has aired on any channel within a given time frame. Consumers will be able to access the service through an Intel-made set-top box as well as through tablets and other devices.

Huggers said in February that the service will be marketed under a separate brand that hasn’t been revealed yet. However, I recently found some clues suggesting that the new branding will be tied to Intel’s legacy brand with the tagline “Intel inside & out.”