Penthera develops and deploys software products facilitating the delivery of TV shows, movies and other video content over wireless networks to mobile devices. Penthera’s customers have included network providers, content owners, network operators, device manufacturers and other entities that need to deliver media content securely, reliably and verifiably to their customers and employees. Penthera’s software is installed in millions of mobile devices and is protected by a portfolio of U.S. patents and has powered billions of video downloads on Apple and Android mobile devices.
Meet the Team
President and CEO, Penthera
Michael S. Willner spent his entire career in the cable television industry. Prior to becoming President and CEO of Penthera, a provider of intelligent portable video software solutions for TV networks and content distributors; he co-founded Insight Communications in 1985, which became one of the 10 largest cable companies in the US. He served as the company’s CEO, a director and vice chairman of the board until the company was sold to Time Warner Cable in February, 2012.
Willner was also named as CEO of Greatland Connections Inc., the cable operator that was to be formed from properties spun off of the Time Warner Cable/Comcast Communications Inc. merger in 2015, had that transaction been completed.
Willner began his career in 1974 as the program director and news reporter for a small suburban New York cable system after graduating from the Boston University College of Communication. Soon after, he shifted his focus to general management and eventually became the chief operating officer of Vision Cable Communications, a cable company owned by a division of Newhouse Newspapers.
After starting Insight Communications, Willner also became very active in industry affairs and has been one of cable’s most active and effective ambassadors on Capitol Hill, testifying regularly before Congress on industry issues and pending legislation. He has served two consecutive terms as chairman of the National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA), the cable industry’s trade lobby, served on its executive committee for many years and chaired its political action committee (CablePAC) from 2000 until 2012. Michael also served as chairman of the board of the Cable Center from 2007 through 2011, on the executive committee of CableLabs, and on the board of directors of C-SPAN, and the Walter Kaitz Foundation.
Michael was a recipient of the NCTA’s 2004 Vanguard Award for Distinguished Leadership and a 2005 inductee into the Broadcasting & Cable Hall of Fame and was inducted into the Cable Hall of Fame in 2008.
Chief Operating Officer and Board Member
Taitz joined Penthera in 2015 bringing a deep and broad experience in the entire range of strategic, operating and administrative business functions, including sales and marketing, corporate and business development, legal, finance and HR. He is known for transformative work with some of the biggest names in media, including top executive positions for Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Univision Communications and Oxygen Media, where he negotiated the sale of the company to NBC Universal. At each of those businesses, Taitz was responsible for developing and implementing cutting edge strategic plans that positioned the companies for success in the highly competitive and rapidly changing media industry. Prior to his media career, Taitz represented a variety of corporate clients as a partner in the New York law firm, Friedman, Kaplan & Seiler, LLP, and an associate at Willkie Farr & Gallagher.
Taitz serves on the Board of Directors of You Gotta Believe, a not-for-profit dedicated to connecting older foster children with permanent families. Taitz received his BA from Trinity College and a JD from Cornell University.
Chief Technology Officer
Berger is an accomplished technology executive and team leader in the software arena. He founded and grew two companies, both of which extend the capabilities of mobile devices past voice into compelling, usable new data services. He has also worked within two world-leading information-technology firms, Nokia and IBM.
Along with three other Ph.D students from Carnegie Mellon, Berger co-founded Eizel Technologies Inc. in 2000. Eizel was a venture-backed software firm that developed a corporate mobile email system. The mobile phone company Nokia purchased Eizel in 2003 and made it a component of its newly-formed Enterprise Systems division. Within Nokia, Berger and the team grew the Eizel product line into the Nokia One Business Server™ product. At Nokia, Berger led an innovation team that interfaced between U.S. and European offices to bring product and intellectual property concepts from the research and venturing wing into the product units. Berger left Nokia to co-found Penthera Technologies in 2005, where he served as chief technology officer, vice president, and director. In 2007 Berger co-founded Penthera Partners and participated in the management buyout of the assets of Penthera Technologies.
During his years in the software industry, Berger has served as a public speaker at major venues and technology advisor and board member to startups and technology investment firms. He holds degrees in physics and computer science from Harvard University, and a Ph.D. in computer science from Carnegie Mellon University. He has been a recipient of an IBM Graduate Fellowship, a Harvard College Scholarship and a Thomas J. Watson Fellowship. Berger has published more than 20 refereed papers and holds 10 U.S. patents.