The Weather Channel Names New Chairman, CEO

Akamai's David Kenny to replace Mike Kelly

The Weather Channel announced today that it is replacing its current CEO with an executive from the digital and advertising worlds.

Mike Kelly, who had been president and CEO of The Weather Channel since 2009, will be stepping down. In his place, The Weather Channel is installing David Kenny, who had previously served as head of a developer of cloud computing platforms called Akamai. Before that, he was co-founder and managing partner of VivaKi—the digital arm of Publicis Groupe (Kenny also serves on the board of Yahoo). Kelly will stay on in a diminished role, acting as a special advisor to the CEO and The Weather Channel's board of directors.

“[Kenny's] experience gives him a deep understanding of the TV and digital business, and he has the leadership experience and vision to drive global initiatives across all platforms,” the consortium that owns The Weather Channel—private equity firms Bain Capital and The Blackstone Group and NBCUniversal—said in a joint statement.   

The Weather Channel has a history of selecting chief executives from outside the traditional television ranks. Prior to joining the network in 2009, Kelly had served as president of AOL Media Networks from 2004 to 2007 and was an advisor to Veronis Suhler Stevenson, a media investment firm.

Kenny's appointment comes as the network has been placing a newfound emphasis on its digital properties and embarks on an aggressive expansion into the world of business-to-business marketing. Last August, The Weather Channel hired meteorology guru Paul Walsh, in part to advise businesses on ways to use weather predictions in their advertising strategies on the network. 

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