Christopher J. Cookson has been named President of Sony Pictures Technologies. He will oversee the development and implementation of the studio's technology policy and processes. He will also serve as Sony Pictures' chief liaison with other Sony Corp. businesses in the area of technology. The position is a new one at Sony Pictures, and Cookson will report to Michael Lynton, CEO and chairman of Sony Pictures Ent., and Amy Pascal, co-chairman.
Cookson was CTO of Warner Bros. Ent. and president of the Warner Bros. Technical Operations division. He began his career with Warner Bros. in 1992 and became CTO in 1999. Previously he served as VP and GM of Operations and Engineering for CBS in New York. Before that, he worked for 10 years at ABC, where he won an Emmy award for his work as director of the ABC and International Olympics Broadcast Centers.
"Technological changes are reshaping the business model of the entire entertainment industry, and Sony Pictures aims to be at the forefront of this revolution," said Lynton. "Chris Cookson's long career in the technological end of the entertainment business gives him the kind of wisdom and experience we need at this crucial moment in our studio's history."
"New developments in technology are rapidly changing the ways that we create, distribute and enjoy the experiences that entertain us. This is a most exciting time to be part of this industry, and I feel fortunate to have the opportunity to join with the unmatched resources of the Sony Corp. in helping shape this revolution," added Cookson.
Cookson holds more than 30 U.S. patents, including several involving DVDs. He also has been leading the effort to maintain high standards of quality on theatrical digital post-production technologies.
Sony Pictures CTO Mitch Singer and his team will report to Cookson.
"One key responsibility for Chris is his role as technology liaison with Sony Corp. and its businesses," added Lynton. "That is a crucial part of Sir Howard Stringer's vision of 'Sony United,' whereby the people and companies of Sony work closely together to bring content and hardware together as we move from the analog to the digital age."
SPE was one of the first studios in the DVD business and the first to sell television shows online and movies for mobile devices. SPE is also one of the pioneers in digital downloading. Sony Pictures also includes Sony Online Ent., a worldwide leader in massively multiplayer online games, and Crackle, a video entertainment site acquired by the studio in 2006.
Cookson is a fellow of The Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers, a member of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (and served as ATAS chairman of the Engineering Awards Committee from 1995 to 1997) and a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. He has been awarded two Emmys.