TiVo is losing its CTO and co-founder, Jim Barton. The news was released in an SEC filing that says that Barton resigned, effective yesterday, and will take up a $25,000 per month consulting role at the company "related to patent matters, litigation, and certain technical matters" for the next three years. TiVo hasn't publicly released the news, but Deadline.com reports that CEO Tom Rogers said "We are extremely grateful to Jim for his years of dedication and his commitment to innovation that he has provided to TiVo since its founding. We are pleased that he will remain on in an advisory capacity and look forward to working with him in this new capacity in the future." It's not clear what Barton plans to do next, other than that he's "off to pursue his next 'big idea.'"

Barton and co-founder Mike Ramsay (who resigned as CEO in 2005) introduced the first TiVo at CES 1999. Since then the company has seen plenty of rough times as it faced stiff competition with cable providers' DVR options, but the company has been working with those providers recently — a move that helped bring in 234,000 new subscribers in Q4 2011. According to TiVo's website, Barton set "the technical vision for the company," with "responsibility for all product development," so we're sure it's a big loss for TiVo.