KVH Industries, Inc. (Nasdaq: KVHI), announced today that Mark Woodhead has been named to the newly created position of KVH senior vice president for training and content, effective on the first of January 2017. In this position, Mr. Woodhead will direct KVH’s market-leading maritime crew welfare, safety, and productivity services, which include Videotel maritime training packages – currently in use on more than 12,000 vessels worldwide – and numerous news and entertainment brands, such as NEWSlink – currently used by more than 9,000 vessels globally.
Mr. Woodhead has been managing director of KVH’s news and entertainment brands since 2013 and will succeed Nigel Cleave, following the planned decision by Videotel’s CEO to retire at the end of the year. Mr. Woodhead’s new position will bring KVH’s maritime training, news, and entertainment under one umbrella for the first time.
“Mark has nearly 20 years’ experience providing commercially licenced, industry-leading content to the commercial maritime, retail, and hospitality sectors, and we are thrilled to have him direct our comprehensive efforts to provide top quality maritime training programs and tremendously popular news and entertainment services as part of a total KVH solution,” says Martin Kits van Heyningen, KVH’s CEO. “Using KVH’s market leading mini-VSAT Broadband service to deliver this content makes KVH a complete provider for improving shipping industry productivity and economic performance.”
“I’d like to thank Nigel for his commitment and enthusiasm in ensuring that Videotel integrated with the rest of the KVH group of companies as seamlessly as possible,” says Mr. Kits van Heyningen.
Mr. Cleave’s planned decision to retire comes after a fulfilling career spent at sea, in ship management, consultancy, and crew training as a senior maritime industry professional.
Mr. Woodhead’s background is in content acquisition and production; he has been in the shipping sector since 2000, when he was commercial director of TEAMtalk Media Group, and he launched Headland Media in 2006. He led a rollup of shipping service businesses, including brands such as NEWSlink, Walport, and Shipboard Video Express. He is passionate about improving the visibility and welfare of crew and using cutting-edge technology to deliver home comforts and training to crew in remote locations.
“The shipping industry is in an unprecedented period of change. As technological advances continue to offer better communications options, KVH is committed to providing competitive solutions for our maritime clients, and making the transition as smooth and seamless as possible,” says Mr. Woodhead. “Nigel has presided over a very successful period of growth at Videotel, and everyone at KVH would like to thank him for his huge contribution to the industry and wish him all the best in his well-earned retirement. I am very excited to be adding Videotel to my responsibilities, and to be working with the experienced and passionate team there to continue to improve the safety and welfare of seafarers around the world.”
Nigel Cleave’s career began with Cunard as a navigating cadet officer and he went on to hold senior positions within the ship management sector, including building one business up from zero to a diverse fleet of 135 fully managed vessels. His broad ship management experience made him aware of the importance of having properly trained crew, and helped influence his decision to join Videotel as CEO in 2011.
KVH’s acquisition of Videotel in July 2014 opened the way to solving a challenge Mr. Cleave had long recognized, namely how to deliver training packages to global fleets more efficiently. With KVH’s IP-MobileCast content delivery service, Videotel’s training materials can be sent via multicasting technology, ensuring vessels’ Internet performance isn’t affected and eliminating the cost of distribution. With IP-MobileCast, one transmission sends files to all subscribing vessels, caching the files to an onboard server for immediate access by crew.
“I am fortunate to have been able to work in such a vibrant and rewarding industry as shipping, including all the many challenges this has entailed over the years,” says Mr. Cleave. “All my colleagues and associates in our industry will agree that the maritime sector is not merely a job, but very definitely a way of life. I am leaving Videotel with some truly exciting developments in the pipeline and I congratulate Mark on his new position. I am in no doubt that Videotel customers, today and in the future, will be in good and capable hands.”