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VR heavyweight Jaunt names ex-Hearst, NBC exec as CEO

George Kliavkoff has been named Jaunt‘s new CEO.

In May, the Disney-backed virtual reality company, which has developed an end-to-end content production and distribution company, said previous CEO Jens Christensen had abruptly stepped down, and it had started the hunt for a growth-oriented chief executive.

Since then, CTO Arthur Van Hoff has been serving as interim CEO. With the hiring of Kliavkoff, who comes directly from Hearst, where he was co-president of entertainment and syndication, Van Hoff will resume his role as CTO.

Kliavkoff has been overseeing Hearst’s largest division, which was responsible for the media conglomerate’s cable TV efforts, TV production and distribution, newspaper syndication, and merchandise licensing. He was also president of Hearst Ventures, which invested in media-oriented tech companies.

Prior to Hearst, Kliavkoff was chief digital officer at NBC Universal, where he was part of the team that created and launched Hulu. He became Hulu’s first chief.

It remains to be seen what his growth strategy is for Jaunt, but his background suggests he intends to take the company into several major areas of media and technology.

In a brief phone conversation with Fast Company, Kliavkoff said he plans on building on what Jaunt already is, and will be focusing on three areas: Building out the company’s end-to-end cinematic VR platform; growing its executive team and employee base with an emphasis on the company’s studio operations; and continuing its international expansion, particularly in ChinaDT