Jean-Francois Mule, who recently served as a Senior Vice President at CableLabs, has joined Apple, according to his LinkedIn profile. The move was first noted by MultiChannel News. CableLabs is a consortium made up of cable providers that works with these providers in order to bring new TV-related technologies to life. At Apple, Mule will work as an Engineering Director, but it is currently unclear was his precise role will be. Apple has Engineering Directors in many departments across the company, so it is unclear if his role will actually be connected to TV-development.
According to his CrunchBase Profile, Mule worked on the technology side of TV operations at CableLabs:
Jean-Francois Mule’ is the Senior Vice President of Technology Development at CableLabs. He heads up the technical staff in the new San Francisco Bay Area office of CableLabs. His team is focused on Bay Area outreach, application development on mobile devices in a multi-screen world and university research on Software-Defined Networks. Jean-Francois was previously VP of IP Technologies and Services responsible for steering the directions of IP technologies and protocol developments across the CableLabs research and development projects such as DOCSIS®, PacketCable(tm) and Wireless. He is the program manager leading real-time IP communication services over broadband networks including PeerConnect(tm), SIP peering, HD Voice and Wi-Fi. He also coordinates CableLabs activities in the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) and the Internet Society (ISOC). Jean-Francois previously served as the Chief Architect for PacketCable responsible for the architecture and development teams. PacketCable is the IP service delivery platform for delivering VoIP and multimedia services over cable, a technology deployed by cable operators across the world to serve over 30 million subscribers live today.
Apple has long been rumored to be developing a new device for the living room centering around television programming. Rumors have been split between Apple working on a full-fledged set and a new box. Recent rumors have pointed to some-sort of Apple TV hardware update later this year, and we’ve heard that Apple is developing motion controlled features for future generations of the Apple TV.
Many have noted that Mule says he will be working on “something big” for Apple. However, Apple commonly tells its employees that they are working on “big” products, and this is likely just opinion on his part. It’s unlikely that, since he joined Apple in September, he would already know the complete scope of the projects he will be apart of.
Mule’s experience in mobile TV and second-screen applications is particularly interesting in light of a recent Apple acquisition. Earlier this year, Apple acquired a service called Matcha that users devices like iPads to round-up TV programming options.