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THX Gets New President

San Rafael, Calif. — Joseph L. Lias, an executive in the data communications and networking industries, has been hired as THX’s president at a time when the company plans to develop new types of performance standards for consumer electronics products.

Lias fills a newly created position at the company, which is currently developing reference standards for two-channel and multichannel music playback. THX it also considering the development of performance standards for future high-definition disc formats and home A/V networking, executives said.

THX develops performance criteria for movie theaters, home theater audio and video equipment, car audio, DVD software, game consoles and computer software. Consumer products meeting its performance standards are allowed to wear the THX logo. In January, the company unveiled a game mode standard for use in future THX Ultra II-certified receivers.

The new music standards might be presented to potential licensees in the fall.

THX created the position of president to help THX grow and “pioneer the whole next generation of entertainment enjoyment,” Lias said. The company will benefit from his “background in startups that bring innovative technology” to market, he said, and from his communications networking background, which will come in handy because “the entertainment and communications industries are starting to converge in the delivery of content to consumers.”

In his previous position, Lias was co-founder and president/CEO of Kipper Technologies, founded in July 2002 to develop data communications equipment for the local, state and federal government agencies. He also started up Carina Networks, which developed technology to turn utility power lines into broadband networks. Before that, he was founder and executive VP of Terawave, which developed optical network equipment.

Ivan Fujihara remains THX general manager and will continue to oversee quality assurance programs and standards. Anne Brighouse remains marketing director, and Ross Portugeis remains sales VP.