After a six-month search CableLabs' board of directors has hired Phil McKinney, a self-styled technology innovation guru who most recently was chief technology officer of Hewlett-Packard's personal systems group, as the R&D consortium's next president and CEO.
McKinney, 51, starts at CableLabs effective June 1. He replaces Paul Liao, the former Panasonic CTO who has led the laboratory since June 2009. Liao announced in October 2011 that he would not renew his contract, which was set to expire this December.
"We're thrilled to have a technologist of Phil's caliber joining CableLabs," Glenn Britt, Time Warner Cable chairman and CEO and CableLabs chairman, said in a statement. "For 24 years, CableLabs has helped the cable industry be at the forefront of communications innovation, and that role has never been more critical than it is today. Phil's expertise in innovation and consumer technologies will ensure that CableLabs stays ahead of the technology curve and fuels cable's continued growth with innovation."
Comcast Cable president and CEO Neil Smit, who also is vice chairman of the CableLabs board, added, "As the pace of innovation continues to accelerate, we're excited to have a leader like Phil who has broad experience that spans multiple industries and technologies and a vision that will continue to move our industry forward."
McKinney has held technology leadership positions in various companies, and more recently has developed a career as an author, speaker and columnist on technology topics and trends.
At HP, McKinney was vice president and CTO in the personal systems group, where he was responsible for long-range strategic planning and research and development for all of the company's PC product lines. He has also served as senior vice president and CIO at Teligent, and director at CSC.
McKinney recently published his first book, "Beyond The Obvious," which is billed as "a practical guide to consistently generating innovation." McKinney also writes a column for Forbes called "The Objective," and tweets via @philmckinney.
McKinney serves on the board of directors for The Computer History Museum and on the executive board of the Santa Clara County Council for the Boy Scouts of America. He also serves on the advisory board for Hacking Autism, a group focused on developing technologies for children on the autistic spectrum.
The search for CableLabs' CEO was conducted by David Archambault, a partner with Sausalito, Calif.-based executive search firm Bialla & Associates.
Regarding Liao's tenure at CableLabs, Britt said, "We appreciate Paul's leadership and his many contributions to CableLabs. He has led the industry's technological innovation during three years of incredible change and his impact will be felt for years to come."
Louisville, Colo.-based CableLabs is owned by 40 cable operators in the U.S. and internationally.