Luxury movie server manufacturer, Kaleidescape, announced today that Tayloe Stansbury has been appointed as new chief executive officer, succeeding company co-founder, Cheena Srinivasan, who has been serving in that role since 2014. Kaleidescape also announced hiring Norma Garcia-Muro, who will serve as the company’s new VP of marketing.
Tayloe, who joined Kaleidescape’s board of directors in August of this year, has a lot of experience in running companies in the tech-sector as well as serving on several public, private, and nonprofit boards.
Norma has a background with strong ties to the high-end side of theatrical distribution, having worked at Paramount Pictures marketing Blu-ray titles, handling international marketing for Lucasfilm, helping lead the marketing effort of Dolby Cinemas worldwide, and launching THX Ultimate Cinema, a premium large format experience. Norma was also recently named one of the Top 50 Women in Global Cinema.
I had the opportunity to speak with Tayloe and Norma, to find out a bit about them as well as their plans for Kaleidescape.
Tayloe happens to be a home theater enthusiast and movie lover — his collection has over 1700 titles — and he has been a Kaleidescape customer since 2011, having three separate systems in different homes. (His primary system features a Sim2 projector, Meridian speakers, and a Kaleidescape Premiere server.) It was his love for the product and conversations with Cheena that ultimately led to him joining the board.
“I’m here because of my passion for the product,” Tayloe states. “I’m a videophile and love this system, which is why I got involved with the company.”
Related: So You Think You Know Kaleidescape?
Even before joining the board, Tayloe used his industry connections to help Kaleidescape gain access to a couple of marquee film libraries for the movie store, namely MGM and the James Bond franchise.
“We’re in an interesting time now; we can’t go to theaters, and more people are watching movies at home,” Tayloe states. “This is a trend that was already happening, but Covid has accelerated it. People still desire seeing movies in the same, highest quality presentation as at a theater, and Kaleidescape is the only solution that allows that. While there are lots of great audio and display systems, there is no source that does full Mezzanine derived, full resolution audio and video as Kaleidescape.”
When asked about plans for the future, Tayloe says while there will be new products at some point, his biggest plan is to raise brand awareness. “It’s an awesome product, but not as well-known as we’d like, and that’s why Norma is here.”
Norma’s passion, enthusiasm and — most importantly — her understanding of the importance of delivering the premium experience is immediately clear.
“I know exactly what is happening in the commercial cinema space, with a lot of people now watching at home, and I understand the value of delivering a premium cinematic experience,” Norma says. “I’ve sat beside directors, producers, sound designers, and colorists, and I understand the work and effort that goes into making a film.
“I’m super passionate about storytelling, super passionate about film — what it makes people feel, the emotional attachment we have to film. It’s a global, universal language, and you need a system like Kaleidescape to bring that level of detail out. Movies belong on Kaleidescape.
“Building awareness of the company and the Kaleidescape experience is my number one job. With that comes the social media community, which is going to be a focal point. I want to engage with system owners, users, the community, the creators, I want it all!”
Tayloe adds, “There are so many people in this company who have a passion for movies, why not let them have a voice for the company?”
Having worked with Kaleidescape – and more specifically with Cheena – for many years, I’ve had many frank and open discussions with him, and I was touched that he called me personally to tell me this news and to set up introductions to the incoming leaders, as well as giving me a nice opportunity to chat about what this news means for both him and the company.
I can recall many conversations with Cheena; from a first call back in the early 2000s where he described a grand vision of delivering the highest quality content directly to people (a concept unimaginable in the pre-streaming, physical-media-only days, but ultimately realized in 2011 with the opening of the company’s online movie store); the multi-year contract dispute with the DVD-CCA (which was amicably settled in 2014); working to secure content licensing from the major studios; announcing Kaleidescape’s new Encore 4K HDR hardware platform; the company’s sudden and dramatic closure in August 2016, followed by an equally quick reopening and resurgence.
For Kaleidescape dealers and owners, Cheena has so long been the face of the company and tireless in his promotion of Kaleidescape as the premier luxury home cinema brand that a Kaleidescape without him at the helm may seem a bit strange, but rest assured, this is not a move that indicates any instability or uncertainty with the company’s future, and the passion, enthusiasm, and excitement Tayloe and Norma are bringing to the company are palpable.
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As a company founder, Cheena will still be very involved with the new title of executive VP. This role will allow him to step away from the daily grind and distractions of running the company, and focus his efforts on developing partnerships with other luxury brands, cinema designers, and home theater specialists, as well as continuing studio content licensing for the movie store.
In Cheena’s words, he will be “exploring ways to remain compelling and relevant in a world that is becoming more fragmented in content” and to “focus on what I do well.”
I’ve chided Cheena for years about running a company that is all about the finest movie enjoyment experience, while not really being a movie watcher himself, and he mentioned he does have a library of over 1400 movies that he is now looking forward to having the time to finally enjoy.
Speaking of Tayloe and Norma, Cheena says, “We are delighted to see them both take the lead as we launch this exciting new chapter in revolutionizing home entertainment with the finest cinema experience available.”