Exec hired to oversee HBO Go

XBox creator Otto Berkes lured from Microsoft

The emergence of HBO Go has prompted the pay-TV net to put new focus on consumer technology.

HBO has hired Otto Berkes, one of the creators of Microsoft’s XBox gaming console, as senior VP consumer technology. He will focus on extending the HBO brand on alternative platforms, an aspect of the business gaining considerable momentum with HBO Go.

“We are very fortunate to have one of the visionary leaders in consumer technology on board to help us build upon HBO’s latest digital offering,” said HBO chief technology officer Bob Zitter, to whom Berkes will report.

The hiring of Berkes marks an increasing emphasis on strengthening HBO’s direct-to-consumer presence on devices like mobile and tablets, though for now HBO Go is only available to subscribers of the linear service.

Since launching as an app on the iPad in May, HBO Go managed to draw 1 million downloads in just a week. The service has seen its content supply double, and move over to platforms running the Android operating system as well.

HBO has been experimenting with its programming mix on HBO Go, offering sneak previews of content weeks before their debut on linear TV, including “True Blood” and interactive companion content for its new series “Game of Thrones.”Berkes, who is filling a new position at HBO, ended an 18-year run at Microsoft last month. Most recently he served as general manager to chief software architect Ray Ozzie.

Berkes was instrumental in the creation of XBox, which established Microsoft in the videogame business as a formidable player opposite the likes of Sony and Nintendo. Berkes was also an early proponent of tablet computing, and worked on prototypes that preceded Apple’s release of the iPad — a skill that could come in handy for HBO Go.

More TV

  • Hulu Orders Middle School Comedy 'PEN15'

    Hulu Orders Middle School Comedy 'PEN15'

    The emergence of HBO Go has prompted the pay-TV net to put new focus on consumer technology. HBO has hired Otto Berkes, one of the creators of Microsoft’s XBox gaming console, as senior VP consumer technology. He will focus on extending the HBO brand on alternative platforms, an aspect of the business gaining considerable momentum […]

  • THE HANDMAID'S TALE -- The Emmy-winning

    Everything We Know About 'The Handmaid's Tale' Season 2

    The emergence of HBO Go has prompted the pay-TV net to put new focus on consumer technology. HBO has hired Otto Berkes, one of the creators of Microsoft’s XBox gaming console, as senior VP consumer technology. He will focus on extending the HBO brand on alternative platforms, an aspect of the business gaining considerable momentum […]

  • Tyne Daly

    'Murphy Brown' Revival Adds Tyne Daly as Bar Owner Phil's Sister

    The emergence of HBO Go has prompted the pay-TV net to put new focus on consumer technology. HBO has hired Otto Berkes, one of the creators of Microsoft’s XBox gaming console, as senior VP consumer technology. He will focus on extending the HBO brand on alternative platforms, an aspect of the business gaining considerable momentum […]

  • Costume Designer Lyn Paolo

    Power Garments Defined the Political Class in ABC's 'Scandal'

    The emergence of HBO Go has prompted the pay-TV net to put new focus on consumer technology. HBO has hired Otto Berkes, one of the creators of Microsoft’s XBox gaming console, as senior VP consumer technology. He will focus on extending the HBO brand on alternative platforms, an aspect of the business gaining considerable momentum […]

  • Game of Thrones Omaze

    Emilia Clarke Teases 'Game of Thrones' Set Visit for Charity

    The emergence of HBO Go has prompted the pay-TV net to put new focus on consumer technology. HBO has hired Otto Berkes, one of the creators of Microsoft’s XBox gaming console, as senior VP consumer technology. He will focus on extending the HBO brand on alternative platforms, an aspect of the business gaining considerable momentum […]

  • John Caglione Jr makeup Al Pacino

    How a Hair & Makeup Team Transformed Al Pacino Into HBO's 'Paterno'

    The emergence of HBO Go has prompted the pay-TV net to put new focus on consumer technology. HBO has hired Otto Berkes, one of the creators of Microsoft’s XBox gaming console, as senior VP consumer technology. He will focus on extending the HBO brand on alternative platforms, an aspect of the business gaining considerable momentum […]

  • Michael Zegen photographed by CELESTE SLOMAN

    Michael Zegen on How He Keeps His Composure on the 'Marvelous Mrs. Maisel' Set

    The emergence of HBO Go has prompted the pay-TV net to put new focus on consumer technology. HBO has hired Otto Berkes, one of the creators of Microsoft’s XBox gaming console, as senior VP consumer technology. He will focus on extending the HBO brand on alternative platforms, an aspect of the business gaining considerable momentum […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content