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DVD rental kiosk service Redbox founder Gregg Kaplan resigns post

Despite a healthy turnover, Redbox has reportedly struggled to attract investors

Gregg Kaplan, the founder of video rental kiosk service Redbox, will leave the company next March with Knowledge Universe CEO Anne Saunders taking over, it was announced today.

Kaplan, who started Redbox in 2002, said he is leaving to “pursue new opportunities” but will stay on until March. The company currently has 38,000 kiosks across North America.

The decision comes amid growing evidence that Redbox’s business model is straining as the DVD market continues to contract.

Redbox’s revenue increased by a cool 26 per cent over the course of last year, with a turnover of $458 million, but the company had grown much faster in the first quarter with a 39 percent rise. It is thought the company has recently struggled to find investors to partner with.

Anne Saunders, current executive vice president of education company Knowledge Universe, will replace Kaplan as president of the Coinstar-owned firm on August 27. She will report directly to Coinstar CEO Paul Davis.

One of Saunders’ first tasks will be to oversee Redbox’s partnership with  broadband and telecommunications company Verizon, which is positioning itself as a subscription video-on-demand service – in direct competition with the ever-more powerful Netflix.

“Saunders brings to Redbox extensive executive experience across a variety of industries, including past senior leadership roles at Bank of America, Starbucks and AT&T,” the company said.

“Anne is a true innovator and brand builder with extensive experience in developing and growing new revenue streams, business optimization and consumer marketing,” said Davis. “Anne has had a positive impact everywhere she has worked, and on behalf of the entire board and management team, I welcome Anne to the Coinstar family.”

Kaplan, who oversaw the sale of Redbox to Coinstar in 2009, said in a statement: ”To say that I am extremely proud of everything we have accomplished here is an understatement. I look forward to continuing to work closely with the teams, including our talented and dedicated employees around the country, to ensure a smooth transition in the months ahead.”

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