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Apple TV Plus poaches top Netflix engineer as streaming wars heat up

Apple’s ambitions in the streaming realm have been seriously boosted by poaching a senior Netflix engineer to assist with its Apple TV Plus service.

The Wall Street Journal reports that Apple recently acquired the services of Ruslan Meshenberg, which its sources (and his mightily impressive-sounding LinkedIn profile) say played a massive role in Netflix’s rise to prominence.

Judging by the engineer’s record in building out key areas of Netflix’s offering, at a time when it was establishing itself at the dominant player in the streaming realm, Apple may have landed the big fish. Here’s what the WSJ report has to say:

Ruslan Meshenberg, who helped build out Netflix’s platform and was involved in key initiatives to create a speedier, more consistent service for viewers, joined Apple’s internet-services organization this week, according to people familiar with the hire and his social-media accounts. He joins Apple at the same time it is expanding its $4.99-a-month TV+ service with other new hires, additional shows and movies—a complex undertaking that has tripped up other entrants into the video-streaming business.

According to Meshenberg’s LinkedIn profile he’s now an Engineering Leader at Apple and his biography makes pretty impressive reading, reflecting the scale of his impact at Netflix across multiple initiatives.

Related: Apple TV Plus vs Netflix 

The laundry list of achievements and responsibilities at Netflix makes him sound like the perfect man to kickstart Apple’s still-fledgling efforts to compete with the dominant streaming platform.

This, for example, sounds particularly impressive: “Scaled up the Cloud Platform organization at Netflix during the years of rapid streaming growth and global expansion, developing and operating the high availability web-scale platform.”

There’s also this blurb from the profile page:

Screenshot of a description with a heading Area of Focus and ImpactScreenshot of a description with a heading Area of Focus and Impact with first two lines highlighted

Apple has enjoyed a decent start to life as an original video content provider. Its debut offerings have been largely well-received up until now, with Jennifer Aniston winning awards for her role in one of the inaugural series, The Morning Show. However, the company is probably going to need dozens of hits if it is to challenge Netflix long-term.

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