DVD pioneer Hase finds home at WHV

Exec to o'see studio's video operations in Asian region

An Emmy-winning pioneer of DVD and CD-ROM technology, Koji Hase has joined Warner Home Video as senior VP, Asia Pacific, a newly created position, effective June 1.

Hase, who was at Toshiba Corp. for more than 30 years, will report directly to WHV president Warren Lieberfarb. He will oversee the studio’s video operations in the Asia Pacific region with a mandate to expand business in the area.

Hase, most recently general manager of Toshiba’s corporate brand management division, played an instrumental role in Toshiba’s development of the CD-ROM drive business. Looking to advance CD technology, he helped foster an alliance between Toshiba and Time Warner, leading to his partnership with Lieberfarb and the creation of DVD technology.

“Koji was among the first believers in DVD and was the visionary at Toshiba who worked with us to develop and implement this transforming technology,” Lieberfarb said. “Asia Pacific is a vital region with great upside potential and untold prospects. I can think of no one more uniquely qualified to lead our efforts there.”

As chairman of the DVD Forum, a trade group pushing DVD’s advancement, Hase has been a force behind the format’s growth. In 1999, he won an Emmy Award for his work in DVD technology.

Hase will be based at WHV’s Asia Pacific regional offices in Tokyo. Tim Harada, managing director of WHV/Japan, and Francis Yam, VP of Asia, will report to him as well as other WHV executives in Warner-affiliated offices and licensees in the region.

(Jennifer Netherby is a reporter for Variety sister publication Video Business.)