What’s Meg Whitman’s next gig? Something called NewTV

There’s a saying that you should never leave your current job until you have a new one in place. And it looks like Meg Whitman is taking that philosophy to heart.

Whitman, who will step down as chief executive of Hewlett Packard Enterprise on Feb. 1, has been named CEO of NewTV, a new mobile content company backed by Hollywood bigwig Jeffrey Katzenberg. Whitman will start her new job on March 1.

While Whitman, who in addition to serving as CEO of HPE, spent a decade running eBay and ran for California governor in 2010, might not seem like the type of executive to run a company that is light on details, her joining NewTV shows how old ties in the business world can lead to a job years later. Whitman and Katzenberg worked together at the Walt Disney Co. in the early 1990s, and Whitman was on the board of directors of Katzenberg’s DreamWorks Animation SKG. Katzenberg sold that animation studio to Comcast in 2016 for $3.8 billion.

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So what is NewTV?

Well, it’s possible that, as of now, Whitman and Katzenberg are NewTV. Not much is known about the company other than its name is considered to be tentative as of now, it’s part of Katzenberg’s holding company called WndrCo, which has about $600 million in investments behind it, and it is in Los Angeles.

And it has some pretty ambitious thoughts on the video industry, the kinds of which you would expect to hear from a startup backed by some industry bigwigs who are used to getting things done their way.

According to a report from Variety, Whitman will lead a company that “aims to revolutionize entertainment with short-form premium content customized for mobile consumption.” The basic idea of NewTV is create video programming like 10-minute-long shows that are produced with techniques, and money, that usually go into traditional broadcast programs.

How NewTV will do this, and with what kinds of partners will it work, remain to be seen. Whitman is said to be planning on getting into more fundraising efforts for the company. According to Variety, Whitman said, “We’re going to be recruiting the very best talent, and in a few more months we’ll have to more to say on this.”

Photo: Meg Whitman speaks during a conference in San Jose in 2012. Whitman, who is stepping down as chief executive of Hewlett Packard Enterprise on Feb. 1, has been appointed CEO of NewTV, a video-content startup backed by Hollywood bigwig Jeffrey Katzenberg. (LiPo Ching/Mercury News)


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