“It is a pleasure and an honor to be charged with leading such an important player in the digital space,” said Williams. “This organization helps bridge entertainment and technology through dialogue as well as the sharing and dissemination of information which allows a consensus to be reached, driving the process for standards and practices in digital entertainment. The ETC@USC seeks to support industry stakeholders in the evolution of new business models. The impact and value of the ETC@USC cannot be understated.”
Williams is a longtime entertainment and media professional including an 20-year career at Columbia Pictures and Sony Pictures, where he founded the Digital Studios Division and co-founded Sony Pictures Imageworks, the Academy Award-winning visual effects, animation and multimedia company. For the past two years, Williams has been a private investor and consultant in the entertainment and media space. Previously, he held C-level positions with Captive Media LLP, Ascent Media Group, and Technicolor Digital Cinema, LLC.
“The Entertainment Technology Center is constantly pushing the boundaries of digital media and that is why Ken will be such an integral part of its success,” said Elizabeth Daley, Dean of the USC School of Cinematic Arts. “He understands the direction in which the industry is headed and will position the Center to continue providing the high-level of value we have come to expect.”
“Ken has all the tangibles and intangibles you look for when tapping someone to lead a forward-thinking organization like ETC@USC,” stated Chuck Dages, EVP Emerging Technology at Warner Bros. “His experience and achievements with digital technologies speak for themselves and he has an excellent feel for where digital is headed.”
After graduating cum laude from Harvard with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1978, Williams went on to earn a Master of Science degree in business policy from Columbia in 1985. He is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences.
“Ken is at the forefront of the entertainment and technology fields,” said Vince Roberts, ETC chairman and EVP and CTO of Disney/ABC Television. “He will undoubtedly be a boon to the already impressive work being done at the ETC@USC.”
Williams served as Chairman of the ETC@USC board in 2000. He assumes the role of CEO and executive director following the departure of David Wertheimer who recently stepped down from the post to take the position of president, digital at FOX. Wertheimer will now become FOX’s representative on the ETC@USC board.
The Entertainment Technology Center @ USC, founded in 1993 with the help of George Lucas, is a non-profit organization within USC’s School of Cinematic Arts. The ETC brings together the top entertainment, technology and consumer electronics companies to evaluate what consumers really want, which is then translated to the companies that make technology products. The ETC strives to show how technology impacts the next generation consumer, which will improve the consumer experience and will uncover new revenue streams for entertainment-related products. Along with USC’s School of Cinematic Arts, current ETC sponsors include: The Walt Disney Company, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Twentieth Century Fox, Paramount Pictures, Warner Bros. Entertainment, DTS, Lucasfilm Ltd, and TATA Consultancy Services, also Deluxe Entertainment Services Group, Inc., Dolby, LG Electronics, MasterImage 3D, RealD, Sharp, Singapore IDA, Technicolor, TELUS and Thales. www.etcenter.org
Founded in collaboration with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in 1929 over 80 years ago, the USC School of Cinematic Arts has fueled and mirrored the growth of entertainment as an industry and an art form. The school offers comprehensive programs in directing, producing, writing, critical studies, animation and digital arts, production, and interactive media, all backed by a broad liberal arts education and taught by leading practitioners in each field. Its more than 10,500 alumni are among the world’s most distinguished animators, scholars, teachers, writers, directors, producers, cinematographers, editors, sound experts and industry executives. Since 1973 not a year has passed without an alumnus or alumna being nominated for an Academy Award.