Joost Enlists Cisco Vet as CEO

NEW YORK Internet TV startup Joost has brought on Cisco veteran Mike Volpi as its new CEO.

Volpi succeeds Fredrik de Wahl in the top position at the high-profile firm, which hopes to marry TV with the interactivity and limitless choices of the Web. Volpi spent 13 years at Cisco, most recently running its $11 billion router business.

The addition of Volpi brings added credibility to Joost, founded by Niklas Zennstrom and Janus Friis, the creators of the Kazaa music-sharing service and Skype Internet-calling system. Like those products, Joost relies on peer-to-peer technology, allowing it to tap into unused processing power to deliver high-quality video.

In addition to the founders’ impressive track record, Joost last month closed a $45 million round in venture funding, led by Sequoia Capital and Index Ventures. CBS and Viacom also participated. Although still in test mode, it has deals in place with Viacom, National Geographic, CBS, Warner Music Group and several niche providers. It does not plan to carry user-generated content.

The company last month said 30 advertisers would use the platform, including HP, Intel, Nike and Sony. While most of its initial ads are standard 15- and 30-second spots, Joost is experimenting with interactivity, which would allow users to click for more information.

“Joost is one of the most exciting companies in the media industry,” Volpi said, in a statement. “Fredrik and the Joost team have built a world-class ensemble of talent and created a company and a product with the potential to change the way video is enjoyed around the world.” first reported Volpi’s hiring earlier this month.