Petrone pulls plug at Philips

DVD Group founder ankling, work independently for co.

HOLLYWOOD — Emiel Petrone is stepping down as exec VP at Philips Entertainment Group this week.

He will continue in his leadership role at the DVD Entertainment Group, which he founded. The 45-member promotional group of consumer electronics companies, studios and software suppliers agreed last week to change his title from chairman to chairman emeritus.

During his more than 25 years as the conduit between the Netherlands-based Philips and the entertainment industry, Petrone was instrumental in the launch of the CD and DVD formats.

Petrone said he plans to broaden the efforts of the DVD Entertainment Group and work independently to help ensure a smooth transition to high-definition DVD and a unified rollout of DVD-Audio.

In 1982, Petrone headed the U.S. team that introduced the Compact Disc digital audio system for Polygram, helping to establish Polygram as the leading U.S. supplier of CD titles. He created the 40-member Compact Disc Group of America, made up of consumer electronics manufacturers and record companies, to develop innovative strategies to increase consumer awareness of the audio CD.

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