Former Tandberg Television Chief Executive Eric Cooney has replaced Tim Thorsteinson as President and CEO of SAM (Snell Advanced Media).

Cooney led Tandberg Television during its merger with the Ericsson Group in 2007. He then took on the CEO role at Nasdaq-listed IT services provider Internap Corp until 2015.

As CEO of SAM he has been tasked with continuing to “drive the growth and development of the group across its core markets and build upon the significant sales growth the business has achieved in the last two years as a result of significant investment in new products”.

Thorsteinson is stepping down as CEO after two years in the role due to “personal reasons which, in the near to medium term, limit his ability to travel,” SAM said.

Thorsteinson joined what was Quantel and Snell in March 2015, one year after the two companies were merged by Lloyds Development Capital, the financial backer of both businesses.

One of his first tasks was to complete the merger of Snell and Quantel and oversee the rebrand to ‘SAM’.

He is also credited with leading a new product development strategy, combining the two firms’ various product sets and strengthening the sales teams.

Sam kula 2me

SAM Kula

As part of a succession plan he will continue to advise the SAM board. He will also remain as a shareholder in SAM.

SAM Chairman Kevan Leggett said: “Tim has done a fantastic job in first, stabilising the business and then creating and executing a strategy based on significant investment in new product development aligned to enhancing the sales team which has resulted in SAM’s sales growth significantly outperforming the market.

“I have enjoyed working with him and am delighted he remains involved. Eric has a proven track record of significant value creation and can build on the platform Tim has built to continue SAM’s success in the coming years.”

Cooney, who founded telecom, media and technology venture capital firm Tiptana in 2015, added: “Snell Advanced Media has seen good growth in recent years, in what has been a challenging market impacted by the changing nature of end-user media consumption.

Sam livetouch 4k

SAM Livetouch 4K

“This is testament to its commitment to innovation and integration, whilst keeping its customers front and centre.

“Having demonstrated the ability to adapt and evolve both organically and through M&A activity, this is an exciting time to be joining the group as we look to explore new ways to further drive market share and profitable growth within the media production industry.”

Headquartered in Newbury in the UK, SAM employs almost 600 people across Europe, the Americas, the Middle East and Asia Pacific.

It creates playout equipment, routers, tools for news and sport production, multiviewers, media processing software, grading software and hardware and asset and workflow management systems.  

The group, which recently reported 20% year-on-year growth, is backed by LDC, the private equity arm of Lloyds Banking Group.