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Lieberfarb Leaving Warner

20 Dec, 2002 By: Thomas A., Holly J.

Warner Home Video president Warren N. Lieberfarb, regarded as the father of DVD, is leaving the position he has held for 20 of his 27 years with Warner Bros., the company announced today.

No explanation was given in the press release announcing the departure and studio executives declined comment, but sources indicate Lieberfarb, for 10 years DVD's biggest champion in the industry, was leaving as a result of a high-level dispute at the company.

Lieberfarb, over initial opposition from others and resistance from other studios, spearheaded the acceptance of a single standard DVD. As a result of his 10-year determination, Lieberfarb transformed a stagnating business facing technological obsolescence into the fastest growing and one of the most profitable sectors in the motion picture industry.

Brought in to run Warner Bros.' small home video division in 1982, he was the driving force behind its growth. Under his 20-year stewardship, Lieberfarb made the creation of a broad and deeply experienced management team at WHV a top priority. His successor will come from within WHV's existing senior management, with an announcement expected shortly.

“Warren is a true visionary and a world-class executive. We both began our careers at Warner Bros. back in the 1970s. Over these many years I have watched Warren build the finest home video company in our industry,” said Warner Bros. chairman & CEO Barry Meyer. “But that accomplishment, great as it is, only begins to describe the unique nature of his role over these years. He constantly pursued how best to maximize our profits and how best to position Warner Bros. for the digital 21st century world/. Warner Bros., as well as our industry in general, will be reaping the benefits of his efforts for decades to come.”

“Warren is unique among every motion picture executive I have ever met,” AOL Time Warner CEO Richard D. Parsons stated. “He combines being a visionary and strategist with being a hands-on, first class operating executive. Warren has helped make Warner Bros. the entertainment powerhouse that it is today.”

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