Google has hired the chief technology officer of interactive television company OpenTV. The online search and advertising company has been recruiting to develop its capabilities in interactive television with a view to the cable market and emerging IPTV or internet protocol television networks.

Vincent Dureau was a founding member of OpenTV over a decade ago after working in research and development for Thomson Consumer Electronics. He was responsible for many aspects of the OpenTV interactive television middleware and more recently has been advancing addressable advertising technology.

OpenTV says it does not plan to name a successor in the chief technology officer role, but David McLaren has been promoted to senior vice president for advanced digital television engineering.

Dr McLaren, formerly vice president of product development, has also been with OpenTV since its inception and will be responsible for designing, developing and supporting core set-top box software and associated products.

“Vincent was a key architect for what is today the world’s leading set-top box middleware,” said Jim Chiddix, the chairman and chief executive of OpenTV. “As CTO, Vincent devoted his time, energy and resources to ensure that OpenTV’s engineering department was at the forefront of innovation and middleware development. We offer our sincerest thanks for his many contributions.”

The appointment of a leading technologist from the traditional interactive television industry underlines the commitment of Google to extending its online model to the television environment.