CableLabs Exec Joins Apple

Jean-François Mulé Comes On Board To Work on ‘Something Big’ At Apple

Cable industry vet and long-time CableLabs exec Jean-François Mulé has recently joined Apple in the role of engineering director.

Mulé shared word of his new role at the consumer electronics and media company on LinkedIn, noting in a post that he joined Apple last month and will be “challenged, inspired and part of something big” at Apple. CableLabs is looking to hire a replacement for Mulé, CableLabs VP of communications Wayne Surdam said via email.

Mulé and Apple were not available for comment as of mid-day Tuesday, but he will be joining Apple at a time in which the company continues to launch pay-TV-friendly TV Everywhere plug-ins for the Apple TV box, including Watch Disney, Watch Disney XD, Watch ESPN and HBO Go.

Apple is also rumored to be close to sealing up a TV Everywhere deal with Time Warner Cable and developing its own television. However, Liberty Global CEO Mike Fries poured some cold water the Apple TV set rumor at last week’s the Goldman Sachs Communacopia conference in New York. “They [Apple] are talking, of course, to cable operators; we understand and we have a good dialogue with them on a number of levels," Fries said. "I don't think they're going to build a TV. They want to be in the interface business. They want essentially get in between cable operators and customers.”

Regardless of Apple's longer-term video strategy and how cable factors into it, Mulé will bring Apple significant cable engineering and knowhow that ties into the cable industry's video, voice and data service platforms.

Before joining Apple, Mulé spent the last two years as senior vice president of technology development at CableLabs, where he founded the organization’s San Francisco office (CableLabs is in the process of building out a new R&D outpost/innovation center in Sunnyvale).

During his earlier career at CableLabs, Mulé also served as VP of IP technologies and services, director of the PacketCable Architecture, and chief architect. During that span, he ran or helped spearhead several projects, including PeerConnect, the cable industry’s peering registry, a development program for cable industry-focused wireless services (Wi-Fi gateways, device management, inter-operator Wi-Fi roaming, and mobile offload services using femtocells and Wi-Fi), and was involved in several high-profile, IP-based  CableLabs programs such as DOCSIS 3.0 and APIs for second screen video apps.

Before that, he was director of standards and architecture at Clarent Corp., the manager of information systems at Orange, and a software engineer at IBM.