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THX Changes Staff, Expands Mission

San Rafael, Calif. – THX made 10 key staff appointments in recent months as part of a strategic shift to expand its mission to include the development of key technologies, said president Joseph Lias.

Lias, who took office in the spring, described the company as having previously focused on performance-standards development, certifying products that meet the standards, and developing audio signal processing technologies that companies use to meet the standards. Now, he said, “It’s not just about [performance] standards anymore but also about developing key technologies that will speed manufacturers’ time to market.”

The company, which vows to maintain its performance-standards business, plans to develop compression technologies in three areas: home-A/V networks, digital cinema for movie theaters and automotive with a focus on content movement and management, he said.

The company is continuing to develop reference standards for two-channel and multichannel music playback, he added.

Some of the new hires are experts in compression and networking technology, Lias said. Another newcomer, former Boston Acoustics new-technology director Michael Rudd, has been tapped as chief audio architect in part to develop the music standards. Other key hires are Sheau Ng as chief technology officer, Bruce Kasrel as marketing and customer service VP, and Adrian Sfarti as systems and network engineering VP.

Ng previously served as director and senior architect of the digital television division at 3D graphics company ATI. Kasrel was product marketing director for SeaChange International, a provider of video-on-demand software and hardware for the cable and broadband industries. Sfarti was engineering VP at Kwill, a developer of encryption and watermarking IP for the DVD industry. Before Kwill, Sfarti was engineering director of HDMI products at Silicon Image.

In other changes, marketing director Anne Brighouse and GM Ivan Fujihara left the company, and R&D director Laurie Fincham became certification engineering VP. Ross Portugeis stays on as sales VP.