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Apple's MobileMe technology chief departs to lead Thumbplay


The director of technology for Apple's MobileMe service has departed to become the chief technology officer at Thumbplay, a U.S. media subscription service, the company revealed Monday.

Pablo Calamera was announced as the new lead tech for Thumbplay, a cloud-based data-syncing product for Macs, iPhones and PCs. Starting March 8, Calamera will work from the company's headquarters in New York.

The recruitment of Calamera comes as the company recently launched its own all-you-can-eat music subscription plan, Thumbplay Music, currently available to select users in beta form. The company was previously focused on ringtone sales.

Calamera worked with Apple for 10 years, where he oversaw MobileMe. He also spent six years at mobile services company Danger and two years with WebTV, both of which were acquired by Microsoft. In all, he has worked for more than 25 years in PC, mobile, set-top box and cloud computing.

"We are thrilled to have Pablo join our team. He has unique experience with Apple, Danger and WebTV in delivering and syncing content across multiple platforms for a scaled customer base," said Evan Schwartz, Thumbplay CEO and co-founder. "He has also managed major integrations with U.S. and international carriers; an area of ongoing strategic importance for us."

"Over the course of his career, he has done an extraordinary job of building state-of-the-art consumer products and services from concept to completion. Technological innovation is paramount to Thumbplay, and Pablo's talent, experience and commitment to excellence will play a vital role in keeping us at the forefront of mobile entertainment offerings."

As head of technology development, Calamera will oversee all of Thumbplay's technology initiatives, including the unlimited, on-demand music streaming service. For $10 a month, consumers can listen to the millions of songs available, though customers do not own any of the songs.

"Thumbplay has an incredible talent pool, and they have done a remarkable job in building robust, feature-rich services that deliver beautifully across multiple platforms," Calamera said. "This is a very difficult thing to do, and I have been consistently impressed with the energy, smarts and creativity on display. I am greatly looking forward to working with Evan and the entire Thumbplay team to deliver against our very ambitious goals for the future."

Calamera's departure comes as Apple is rumored to be pushing its own industry-leading iTunes Music Store into the cloud, offering users the ability to stream their music library from anywhere on a number of devices. In December, Apple purchased streaming music service Lala for $85 million.

For years, rumors have persisted that Apple could offer a music subscription service with iTunes. However, as of late, Apple has reportedly been more interested in TV subscription plans, though major U.S. networks have allegedly rejected proposals.