Newly named global CTO will be responsible for creating a new and innovative technological vision to help guide the visual effects and animation company through a period of unprecedented global growth.
VFX and animation company DNEG has appointed Paul Salvini as global chief technology officer as part of the next stage of the firm’s global development. The company has experienced substantial growth in recent years, having added several new business lines and as well as new facilities in North America and India. It has grown to over 7,000 employees across its global offices.
In his new role, Salvini will be responsible for developing a new and innovative technology vision for the company, managing its global technology and R&D teams, and overseeing technology initiatives across all of its key offerings: visual effects for film and episodic content; feature animation; stereo conversion; virtual production; and its ReDefine division, which serves expanding international markets and independent filmmakers.
Outgoing CTO Graham Jack, who has been with the company since 2002, is assisting with the smooth transition of responsibilities.
Based in Canada, Salvini has more than 25 years of experience in C-Suite roles, including 15 years as CTO at SideFX, where he oversaw and guided the development of industry-standard visual effects and animation software tool Houdini from beta onwards. He also spent several years as CTO of audiovisual technology leader Christie Digital, where he was a key member of the global executive team, providing strategic and technical direction to the company’s 1,500 employees across 18 countries as well as conducting fundamental research into display systems in order to secure early IP for the company.
Most recently, Salvini was CEO of The Accelerator Centre, a not-for-profit business accelerator that provides guidance, mentorship, and support for technology start-ups, ranked in the Top 5 for companies of its type worldwide and number one in Canada. The company has helped launch and support over 120 technology-based businesses in the last few years, working in a wide range of areas from data science, AI, computer vision and robotics to autonomous vehicles.
“Technology and science is playing an ever-more important role in the art and creativity of storytelling,” remarked Salvini. “I’ve been fortunate enough to have had a hand in many firsts during my career in the entertainment industry – from enabling collaboration for a newly emerging global talent-base of artists and technicians, to the development of software and processes that have fundamentally changed what is possible to achieve digitally. I feel that we are on the cusp of the next big change in our industry, and it is an honor for me to have the opportunity to explore the possibilities with a global leader of the caliber of DNEG.”
In addition to his extensive professional experience, Salvini also has a strong academic research background. He served as associate vice president of research commercialization at the University of Waterloo in Ontario. He holds a BMath in Computer Science from the University of Waterloo and an MBA, MASc and PhD (specializing in the computer simulation of complex systems) from the University of Toronto.
“Paul has a huge breadth of technical, academic and managerial experience and an entrepreneurial edge which makes him the perfect addition to our senior team as we begin the next phase of DNEG’s journey,” commented DNEG CEO Namit Malhotra. “His industry credentials speak for themselves, and his academic and professional experience in fostering technical innovation, guiding research and development, mentoring creators and securing and commercializing IP reflects and supports our ambitions as we move forward in a very changed industry landscape.”
“If 2020 has done anything, it has proven the need for more innovation, more flexibility and new ways of thinking in order to continue offering the highest levels of quality and support to our filmmaking clients,” added Malhotra. “With Paul’s strategic vision and direction, and our aspiration to be the very best in everything that we do, we are building a spirit of innovation that will rewrite ‘what’s next’ for our industry.”