HBO: BOB ZITTER ANNOUNCES RETIREMENT; OTTO BERKES NAMED NEW CTO
(The following press release from HBO was received by e-mail and was reformatted. The sender verified the statement.)
HBO VETERAN ROBERT ZITTER ANNOUNCES RETIREMENT OTTO BERKES NAMED NEW CHIEF TECHNOLOGY OFFICER, HBO
New York, N.Y., December 10, 2012 - Thirty year HBO veteran Robert (Bob) Zitter today announced that he will step down from the position of Chief Technology Officer, effective March 31, 2013, and will shift focus to handle strategic projects for the company until the end of 2013, at which time he will retire from HBO. Otto Berkes has been named as the company's new Executive Vice President, Technology, and Chief Technology Officer, responsible for overseeing all technology efforts worldwide, including consumer technology, distribution, origination, production operations, engineering and IT.
"There are very few names that come to mind who have had as significant an impact on our industry as Bob Zitter," said Eric Kessler, President and Chief Operating Officer, HBO. "His accomplishments and innovation have helped transform not just the business at HBO but the entire landscape."
"Over the last year, Otto's experience and functional expertise have helped elevate HBO's technological agility, enabling us to meet the growing needs of our subscribers in an era of constantly emerging new media platforms," continued Kessler. "Under his leadership, we believe that HBO will remain at the forefront of the industry."
Most recently serving as Executive Vice President of Technology and Chief Technology Officer, Zitter has long been one of HBO's strongest technology leaders and innovators. A true industry pioneer, Zitter's career has included vital roles in the introduction of digital compression technology, the development and launch of HBO high definition and HBO On Demand as well as being one of the founders of HBO's businesses in Latin America, Asia and Europe.
Throughout his career, Zitter has been acknowledged for excellence in the field including his induction into The Cable Television Hall of Fame in 2006 for his exemplary contributions to the growth and development of the cable industry. He is also a recipient of the NCTA's Vanguard Award for his outstanding leadership in science and technology. Most recently he has served on the FCC's Technology Advisory Committee and as a director of The North American Broadcasters Association.
Otto Berkes joined HBO in 2011 as Senior Vice President, Digital Products, responsible for the development of HBO's consumer technologies including HBO GO, MAX GO, and HBO.com<http://HBO.com>. In this role, he led the software engineering, infrastructure and support organizations that develop and maintain HBO's consumer applications and services across a broad range of devices. He and his group also formulated the technical strategy for HBO's consumer technology and advanced software development aimed at delivering the most innovative technology and experiences possible.
Previously at Microsoft, Berkes held a number of positions over his 18 years there including senior software developer, partner-level architect and general manager. His responsibilities included leading the DirectX and OpenGL graphics technology development organizations in Windows, developing leading-edge mobile architectures and user interfaces in Microsoft Research, and driving advanced development reporting to Microsoft's Chief Software Architect Ray Ozzie. Berkes' work at Microsoft spanned hardware and software design and implementation, user interface and interaction design, industrial design, product and technology strategy, and product incubation and concept development. Berkes is one of the four original founders of Xbox.
Jeff Cusson SVP, Corporate Affairs HBO 212/512-1343 M-646/302-3314