Joost Names Former Cisco Executive New CEO

Internet television service Joost named former Cisco senior executive Mike Volpi as its new chief executive on Tuesday, choosing a telecom veteran to lead the company as it courts big media to show programming on its site.

Joost, launched late last year by the founders of Web telephone-calling service Skype and music file-sharing company KaZaA, aims to replicate cable television services on the Internet.

Volpi, who was also a Skype board member, replaces current Joost CEO Fredrik de Wahl, who will remain as chief strategy officer.

A 13-year veteran of network communications equipment maker Cisco Systems , Volpi was, until he resigned in February, considered a successor to Cisco CEO John Chambers.

Over the past few months, Joost has sought to position itself as a safe way for big media to distribute their copyrighted videos, music and other programming online, dodging the widespread piracy issues that rival YouTube has endured.

Shortly before suing YouTube and its parent Google for $1 billion in March, MTV Networks-owner Viacom signed a deal to distribute some of its shows on Joost as part of a wider bid to reach online audiences.

Since then, many others have joined Joost, including Time Warner's Warner Bros. Television Group and Turner Broadcasting, Sony's Sony Pictures Television and CBS.

YouTube, which focuses on short-form, user-generated video clips, and Joost, which delivers full-length programs, have maintained that they do not compete, despite jockeying for the spotlight in the burgeoning online video business.