Jen Folse is a name that may be familiar to Apple keynote viewers. As the design lead for Apple TV, Folse has had stage time in recent Apple events where tvOS has been demoed. We heard a few weeks ago that Folse was leaving Apple to join other ex-Apple TV team members at Caffeine. Now the social broadcasting startup has made the news official.

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At Caffeine, the former Apple TV exec is taking on the role of VP of Product:

Folse is a world-class product design leader, who has lived at the intersection of technology and TV products at Apple. As Vice President of Product at Caffeine, Folse will be responsible for leading the product experience, roadmap, and product design team. Folse most recently served as design lead at Apple for Apple TV, a position she held since 2016. Folse began her career at Apple as a senior design producer in May of 2010, after working as an engineer for both Finesse Solutions and Genentech. During her career at Apple, Folse played an instrumental role in the development and release of four iterations of Apple TV.

The startup was formed in 2016 by two other ex-Apple TV designers, Ben Keighran and Sam Roberts. Variety reported earlier this year that Caffeine has raised $46 million in funding so far.

In a press release issued by Caffeine, Folse commented on the job change:

“I had every intention of staying at Apple for a long time to come,” said Jen Folse, “but in looking at Caffeine, I felt like I was looking at a new and exciting way for people to discover and consume live content, and knew I could make an impact leading the product experience. I’ve worked alongside Ben for years, and am excited to start working with the rest of the talented team here at Caffeine to bring this new technology to the masses.”

Caffeine currently offers an iPhone app for iOS, but no presence on Apple TV and their website doesn’t play nice with Safari (although the about page works fine).

Check out the full press release below:

Caffeine Hires Apple TV and Evernote Execs, Jen Folse and Michelle Wagner Key executives brought on to help manage the social broadcasting platform’s rapid growth

Redwood City, CA (Aug 21, 2018) — Today, Caffeine, the new social broadcasting platform and tools for gaming, entertainment, and other artistic content, announced that it has hired two new senior executives to help manage the company’s rapid growth: former Apple TV executive, Jen Folse, as Vice President of Product, and Michelle Wagner, as Senior Vice President of People and Places.

Folse is a world-class product design leader, who has lived at the intersection of technology and TV products at Apple. As Vice President of Product at Caffeine, Folse will be responsible for leading the product experience, roadmap, and product design team. Folse most recently served as design lead at Apple for Apple TV, a position she held since 2016. Folse began her career at Apple as a senior design producer in May of 2010, after working as an engineer for both Finesse Solutions and Genentech. During her career at Apple, Folse played an instrumental role in the development and release of four iterations of Apple TV.

“I worked with Jen for years at Apple, and could not be more excited to have her on board to shepherd our product experience, roadmap, and product design teams through the development process,” said Ben Keighran, CEO of Caffeine. “She is a phenomenal product design leader and executor and I look forward to working with her as we grow the Caffeine platform.”

“I had every intention of staying at Apple for a long time to come,” said Jen Folse, “but in looking at Caffeine, I felt like I was looking at a new and exciting way for people to discover and consume live content, and knew I could make an impact leading the product experience. I’ve worked alongside Ben for years, and am excited to start working with the rest of the talented team here at Caffeine to bring this new technology to the masses.”

Caffeine has also hired Michelle Wagner to head up human resources, IT and facilities management, a role entitled “Senior Vice President of People and Places.” Wagner comes to Caffeine from Evernote, where she served as Senior Vice President of People for over two years. Wagner has over 20 years of human resources management experience, having held leadership positions at AOL, Ooyala, Evernote, and others. In her new role at Caffeine, she will help Caffeine build a culture that supports the company’s vision and grow a team that can meet the rapidly growing needs of the company.

“I could not be more excited to join the team at Caffeine,” said Michelle Wagner. “At Evernote, I oversaw the hiring of more than 350 people in just over two years, and I look forward to helping the incredible team and infrastructure here at Caffeine grow in a similar way. I’m thrilled to develop our culture of kindness, experience and entrepreneurship throughout the employee experience.”

As a real-time, social broadcast platform, Caffeine is focused on bringing the more than one billion gamers, streamers, non-streamers, and fans together around the friends and live broadcasts they love. Users find content because of the people they follow in their social circles, and come together to share that content with each other and their ever-growing group of friends. Personal conversations between friends and broadcasters happen in real-time and are given preference, enabling more meaningful social engagements while disposing of toxic chatter and endless feeds of meaningless comments. In addition, Caffeine includes a fair, ad-free monetization system that is open to everyone and is designed to encourage broadcasters and enhance the content experience. Caffeine is built on its own infrastructure, so it requires no third-party software or plug-ins. All it takes is one click for broadcasters to start delivering content, enjoying latency-free conversations, and making money.

For more information, visit www.caffeine.tv.


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