January 24, 2018 / 7:01 PM / in 10 months

Meg Whitman to lead Katzenberg's mobile media startup NewTV

(Reuters) - Departing Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co CEO Meg Whitman will become chief executive of DreamWorks co-founder Jeffrey Katzenberg’s mobile media firm NewTV, a move that places her back into uncharted territory.

One of the most powerful women in U.S. business and a former candidate for California governor, Whitman will be moving into a nascent sector much like when she took over eBay Inc in its early stages and turned it into a multi-billion dollar business.

“Getting Meg was a coup as many companies wanted her,” GBH Insights analyst Daniel Ives said on Wednesday.

Whitman starts March 1 at Katzenberg’s startup firm, which plans to make Hollywood-style, short-form videos for mobile use.

“This is a change of pace for Meg after stepping down from HP as NewTV and Katzenberg have created a unique business model which has a long runway ahead of it for the coming years,” Ives said.

Several media reports said NewTV is trying to raise about $2 billion, which would be a significant first round of financing for a digital media startup. The firm declined to comment on the funding. Katzenberg is chairman of NewTV.

Whitman, who was reportedly a leading candidate for the chief executive job at ride-hailing firm Uber before it was given to Dara Khosrowshahi, steps down as CEO of Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co on Feb. 1.

FILE PHOTO: Meg Whitman, President and Chief Executive Officer, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, attends the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland, January 18, 2017. REUTERS/Ruben Sprich/File Photo

At HPE, she pulled off one of the biggest corporate breakups in history. She spun off Hewlett Packard Co into HPE and PC-and-printer business HP Inc in 2015, as part of a plan to turn around the corporation.

Whitman previously served on the board of DreamWorks Animation, which Katzenberg co-founded.

(This Jan. 24 story has been refiled to fix typo in the first paragraph)

Reporting by Munsif Vengattil in Bengaluru; editing by Sai Sachin Ravikumar, Bernard Orr

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