OnLive CEO Steve Perlman Won't Be Heading OnLive 2.0
posted Tuesday Aug 28, 2012 by Nicholas DiMeo
I'm the one that brought you here. I'm the one that ultimately made decisions, and I'm the one that ultimately takes responsibility. So I am sorry, and it didn't end up exactly as we'd hoped.
Those were the words OnLive's employees received via email from CEO Steve Perlman last week, when the company announced it was going to form OnLive 2.0, a brand new company that would operate the same as the old one, except with less employees. Perlman, the man behind QuickTime and WebTV, took full blame for the downfall of the company, with employees saying that his "ego got in the way" of the potential success of OnLive. This week, we're learning a bit more about the entire restructuring of the cloud gaming corporation. Specifically, we have learned that, despite rumors that Perlman would remain with OnLive moving forward, this is simply not the case.
Like a rebellious child, OnLive employees said they wouldn't work for Perlman in the new 2.0, which seemed to put enough pressure on investor and savior of the company, Gary Lauder, to send the former CEO packing. Instead, Charlie Jablonski, COO of the old OnLive, will be the new OnLive's COO and interim CEO until the board finds a suitable replacement.
More interesting news comes out of this tidbit of an update as well. While it was reported that almost half of the employees were retained for the new endeavor, it turns out this was not true. Several internal sources as well as 2.0 employees have stated that only 60 workers were actually rehired and most of them have been placed on just a 30-day work contract. Also, anybody who was in the team that was in charge of bringing on new games has been canned, which is different than what we were being told just a few days ago.
That's not all though, folks! The company is spinning Perlman's departure in a positive light, as expected. We have the full press release after the break.
It should also be noted that we reported HP being interested in the company in our original article and that we've learned some more details about the situation. The facts are now in that an HP exec handed Perlman a personal check for $10,000 just to start up the negotiation process with OnLive. Then, he made an offer for the company to the tune of $15 million and gave Perlman 60 days to decide. Sources say HP even had potential business partners lined up to use an altered version of OnLive's Cloud Desktop service. At any rate, we now know the deal didn't happen and people close to the matter are saying it was a matter of Steve Perlman's ego getting in the way of the sale.
At any rate, we are now removed from any possible sale and are left with a skeleton crew from the original OnLive, working under a new leader and investor. It's kind of like a "same name, new great taste" sort of thing. Whether it be Perlman's ego that blinded him from a successful future or the problems that plagued OnLive from the beginning, the company just couldn't get the ball rolling and I doubt that a movement of assets will keep the ship afloat. At the end of the day, selling to another company to be dissected for OnLive's good parts might be the best thing for them. What do you think? Leave us your comments below.
OnLive, the pioneer of instant-action cloud computing, announced today that Gary Lauder, the lead investor in OnLive and the managing director of Lauder Partners LLC, will become the new chairman. The company also announced that Charlie Jablonski, the former head of OnLive operations, will become OnLive's COO and acting CEO. Steve Perlman, OnLive's founder and former president and CEO, is departing to work on his myriad of other projects. "Steve has created an extraordinary company that no one else could have created. He is a unique entrepreneur and deserves his legendary status in Silicon Valley as a creator of groundbreaking companies," said Chairman Gary Lauder.
The new OnLive is emerging with greater financial security and a brighter outlook on the future. OnLive is now positioned to execute against longer-term projects with our breakthrough technology, products and services," said Lauder, also adding, "I spent my first week with OnLive listening, to gather people's thoughts and suggestions. It's an impressive group, and I am even more convinced that this company is poised for greatness."
The company plans to continue building the OnLive management team in key categories as the company delivers on its mission of breaking new ground in cloud services both for games and remote application delivery to thin devices, legacy platforms or any platforms with a fast connection. The new OnLive is looking to hire great people for the business development team, as well as a senior marketing leader.