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Joost Ousts Chairman Mike Volpi

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Web TV firm Joost, owned by the founders of Skype, removed its high-profile chairman Mike Volpi by shareholder vote, it said in a statement late on Friday.

Volpi continued as Joost chairman after leaving the chief executive role at the end of June, then joined the venture firm Index Ventures, which was part of consortium bidding $1.9 billion to Internet auction house eBay Inc for 65 percent stake of Skype.

Skype co-founders Niklas Zennstrom and Janus Friis had contacted several private equity firms in an effort to launch a bid to buy back their old business, sources have said.

"Mr. Volpi was removed from the board of directors and from his position as chairman of Joost by shareholder vote," Joost said in a statement.

"The company and its board of directors is conducting an investigation into Mr. Volpi's actions during his tenure as CEO and as chairman."

Volpi, when contacted by Reuters on Saturday, said by e-mail: "I am no longer associated with Joost."

On June 30 Joost, an early pioneer in bringing popular TV shows and movies to the Web, said it was dropping its consumer service, cutting jobs and losing its chief executive Volpi as it struggles to find revenue to survive.

Joost has programming deals with CBS Corp, Viacom Inc and Warner Bros among others.

Joost launched with much fanfare in 2007 as the latest venture of Skype founders Friis and Zennstrom. Before Skype, the Scandinavian entrepreneurs founded KaZaa, a file-sharing service popular with music and entertainment fans for sharing songs and video clips.

Volpi, a former rising star within Cisco Systems Inc joined Joost soon after.

Skype is facing next year a key court case against Joltid, a company controlled by Zennstrom and Friis, which controls key technology behind Skype.

This was originally reported by Reuters.

Nielsen Business Media