March 19, 2013 / 5:53 PM / in 5 years

Lytro appoints new chief executive

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Lytro Inc, Silicon Valley-based maker of the “light-field” camera, said Tuesday it appointed a permanent chief executive to replace its founder, Ren Ng, who will remain as executive chairman.

A guest uses a Lytro light field camera on the red carpet at the world premiere of the film "Marvel's The Avengers" in Hollywood, California April 11, 2012. REUTERS/Danny Moloshok

Lytro tapped Jason Rosenthal, former CEO of social media company Ning and an executive at global tech investment firm Silver Lake, to head the company, which designs and manufactures cameras that take interactive “living pictures” which can then be edited.

Ng, a Stanford-trained computer scientist, will stay at Lytro, to focus on “product vision and advancing light field photography science,” the company said.

Lytro shot to prominence in 2011 when it announced plans to manufacture consumer-grade cameras using miniaturized light-field sensors. Reports last year that former Apple Inc CEO Steve Jobs had expressed interest in the company further boosted its profile.

Lytro, which began selling its first batch of cameras last year, is among a rising wave of high-profile startups that have steered Silicon Valley’s gaze - and investment dollars - back to hardware and gadgets after social media firms dominated the spotlight in recent years.

The company has received funding from venture capital firms New Enterprise Associates, Andreessen Horowitz, Greylock Ventures and other individual investors.

“Lytro has already made tremendous strides towards its vision of revolutionizing photography as we know it,” Rosenthal said in a statement. “The management team has assembled a talented organization of photography pioneers and product visionaries and I’m proud to be leading them as Lytro continues to help the world realize the vast creative potential of the light field and living pictures.”

His appointment is effective April 15.

Reporting By Gerry Shih; editing by Gunna Dickson

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