Kara Swisher

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Exclusive: Silicon Valley Entrepreneur Blake Krikorian Joins Amazon Board

Well-known Silicon Valley entrepreneur Blake Krikorian has joined the board of Amazon, according to several sources close to the situation.

Krikorian — who is considered one of tech’s most savvy execs with regard to video and media distribution — co-founded Sling Media, the maker of the innovative video device Slingbox, in 2004.

(He demoed it at the second D: All Things Digital conference in 2004.)

It was sold in 2007 to EchoStar Communications for $380 million. After a short stint there, Krikorian left and has since been working on a variety of projects and making various investments.

Those include some promising start-ups, such as Lytro, Kno, Clipboard, Chirply and Tasty Labs. Another company he invested in, Clicker, was sold to CBS earlier this year.

He has also been a sought-after exec — sources said he had offers over the last year from Google and also Zynga.

Amazon certainly could use a director such as Krikorian as it seeks to enter the media distribution space more aggressively. It is about to launch a Kindle tablet, for example, and also is a major bidder for the Hulu premium video service.

It has been rumored that Amazon will soon offer an interactive television device, too.

Krikorian certainly has much experience in the arena. One of his first jobs was at the fabled General Magic, which pioneered the creation of one of the first interactive mobile products before the Internet.

He also started a mobile computing unit for Philips Electronics, as well as working in adjacent arenas at other firms.

The University of California at Los Angeles graduate has a degree in mechanical engineering.

Other directors on Amazon’s eight-person board, besides CEO and founder Jeff Bezos, include Kleiner Perkins’s Bing Gordon and Hewlett-Packard’s Jon Rubinstein.

Krikorian, who declined to comment, will be its ninth member.

I also have an email in to Amazon PR, and will update if I get a response.

UPDATE: No need, as here is the 8-K regulatory filing by Amazon announcing the appointment:

AMZN-20110908-8K-20110908


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If every TV show was offered at a fair price to everyone in the world, there would definitely be much less copyright infringement. But because of the monopoly power of the cable companies and content creators, they might actually make less money.

— Holmes Wilson, co-director of Fight for the Future