Vyyo Hires Davis as CEO, Chiddix on Board

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Broadband-equipment provider Vyyo hired Wayne Davis -- previously chief technology officer for Charter Communications -- to be its new CEO, and the company appointed former Time Warner Cable CTO Jim Chiddix vice chairman of its board.

Davis takes over for Vyyo founder Davidi Gilo, who will remain chairman.

“I’ve been the CTO of a large cable operator -- that’s been my career,” Davis said. “Listening to what the customer really needs is what I think is going to put Vyyo on the map.”

Davis said he’ll remain based in Denver, traveling to Vyyo’s headquarters in Norcross, Ga., as needed. Before he joined Charter in 2001 as vice president of engineering for the Western division, he served as VP of engineering for Comcast after it acquired Jones Intercable, where Davis spent 15 years in various engineering roles.

What attracted him to Vyyo, Davis said, was its spectrum-overlay technology, which can boost a hybrid fiber-coaxial network’s capacity to 3 gigahertz. “For a cable operator, the challenge is not only bandwidth, but how to get it cost-effectively,” he said. “And there’s not another solution that provides a better dollar-for-megahertz than anybody else.”

What about an operator’s concerns that Vyyo’s solution is proprietary? Davis said all existing standards, such as Data Over Cable Service Interface Specification, will work with Vyyo’s system.

“It’s not proprietary in the sense that it would scare me off as an operator,” he added, noting that it’s no different from an operator using Scientific Atlanta’s proprietary headend gear and set-tops.

Chiddix most recently was chairman and CEO of interactive-TV software firm OpenTV, and he will remain on that company’s board.

“Unlike Wayne, this is a part-time thing for me,” he said. “It’s an indication of my belief that this is a very important technology for the industry … In terms of getting a lot of bandwidth, there isn’t anything out there that competes with Vyyo.”

Vyyo in November tapped another ex-Charter executive, former chief operating officer Maggie Bellville, to sit on its board.

The company recently landed a deal with Singapore cable operator StarHub, which plans to use Vyyo’s 3-GHz spectrum-overlay technology to deploy a 1-gigabit-per-second Internet service.