With an eye on the challenges in its multiscreen future, HBO will hand the technology controls to an executive steeped in consumer-electronics and interface design.
The premium programmer will promote Otto Berkes — one of the original creators of Microsoft’s Xbox game platform — to the position of chief technology officer to take the baton from longtime CTO Bob Zitter, who will step down from the post in March 2013 after more than three decades at HBO.
Berkes joined HBO in 2011 as senior vice president of digital products, heading the development of HBO’s consumer technologies, including HBO Go, Max Go and HBO.com.
“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.
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.
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.