Yesterday Avid announced the appointment of Kirk Arnold as the new Executive Vice President and General Manager of the pro video unit. Most customers won’t know Arnold. Once againCEO Gary Greenfield has hired from outside the video industry, but this is not necessarily a bad thing. A former colleague of Arnold’s at NerveWire told me, “If Avid is looking to create/expand their professional service offerings then Kirk could be a good fit.” She is known among colleagues for her energy, approachability, and leadership skills.
As NLE software and hardware become commoditized, professional services (consulting) is exactly where Avid needs to go. Of course this is also a somewhat disappointing announcement to many Avid users and customers as Arnold is taking Graham Sharp’s position. Word from Avid yesterday was that Graham is remaining with the company, but his role is to be determined. Ideally Sharp would maintain a leadership role in product development while Arnold concentrates on expanding professional services.
Farewell Xpress Pro?
Sharp’s most notable move during his year or so heading up pro video was pulling Avid out of IBC and NAB. It will be interesting to see if that remains Avid’s strategy along with other initiatives in the works by Sharp. One well-placed source recently told me that Avid was set to announce the consolidation of the Media Composer and Xpress Pro lines (a move long overdue) with the cost of Media Composer software dropping by half. Xpress Pro and Liquid customers would be given $500 upgrade options. Some hardware was also going to have price cuts, with Adrenaline HD dropping below $20,000. If Avid’s putting more of an emphasis on professional services for large installations, these moves still make sense.
The question becomes: How much development resources continue to be given to Media Composer? The upgrade offer for Liquid users leads me to believe that the Pinnacle line might sold off.