HBO has elevated Otto Berkes, one of the original creators of Microsoft’s Xbox game platform, to the position of chief technology officer to take over the reins from longtime CTO Bob Zitter, who is stepping down from the post in March 2013.
As CTO and executive vice president of technology, Berkes will be responsible for overseeing all technology efforts worldwide, including consumer technology, distribution, origination, production operations, engineering and IT.
Berkes joined HBO in 2011 as senior vice president of digital products, heading up the development of HBO’s consumer technologies, including HBO Go, Max Go and HBO.com. 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.
“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,” HBO president and chief operating officer Eric Kessler said in a statement. “Under his leadership, we believe that HBO will remain at the forefront of the industry.”
An 18-year veteran of Microsoft, Berkes held a number of positions at the software giant, including senior software developer, partner-level architect and general manager. He is one of the four original founders of Xbox.
Berkes’ responsibilities at Microsoft included leading the DirectX and OpenGL graphics technology development organizations in Windows, developing mobile architectures and user interfaces in Microsoft Research, and driving advanced development reporting to Microsoft chief software architect Ray Ozzie.
HBO's TV Everywhere service, HBO Go, is available to subscribers via the Xbox 360 as well as other devices, including iPads, iPhones, certain Android smartphones and tablets, Samsung Smart TVs, Amazon.com Kindle Fire tablets and the Roku Internet set-top.