THX Makes Former Samsung, Viacom Exec Ty Ahmad-Taylor New CEO (Exclusive)

Sound and video quality specialist THX has made former Samsung, Viacom and Comcast executive Ty Ahmad-Taylor its new CEO. Ahmad-Taylor told Variety that he intends to expand THX’s business and cater more directly to consumers. “There is a much larger market” for THX by going directly to consumers, he said.

Ahmad-Taylor, whose reign with THX begins effective immediately, was most recently with Samsung, where he served as VP of smart TV services. Previously, he served in various product development roles at Viacom and MTV. Before that, he led product efforts at Comcast.

Before joining Samsung, Ahmad-Taylor also founded and led an entertainment data startup. That experience informed his thinking about THX. “You have to engage in brand-building” when establishing a new startup, he said.

THX on the other hand already has an established brand, which consumers identify with quality standards for audio and video, he argued. Taking the brand directly to consumers would be the logical next step, he added: “It’s a brand that has a great deal of value.”

Ahmad-Taylor wasn’t ready to share what THX’s proposition for consumers will look like, but he said that his specialty has been to work on projects that combine hardware and software. However, there’s one thing that THX doesn’t want to do: run its own media services to directly compete with services like iTunes or Spotify. “We are not going to be involved in licensing content,” he said. THX is aiming to officially introduce its consumer efforts in 2016.

In addition to its move into the consumer space, THX will continue to grow its B2B business, which largely consists of certifications for audio and video quality in the theater, home and automotive space. The latter in particular offered growth opportunities for the company in an age when cars have ever-increasing dashboards and better-sounding sound systems, Ahmad-Taylor argued, adding that the next evolution in automotive — autonomous vehicles — would turn it even more into an entertainment consumption space: “If you are in an autonomously driven car, what else is there to do?”

THX was founded by George Lucas in 1983, and spun off from Lucasfilm in 2002. The company has its headquarter in San Francisco, and offices in Beijing and Hong Kong.

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