Vince Roberts, Disney/ABC Television Group’s exec VP of global operations and CTO who has been recognized one of the industry’s top technologists, plans to retire next January after more than 30 years with the Mouse House.
Roberts joined Disney in 1983 as a staff engineer for Disney Channel ahead of its launch in 1983. He was promoted to his current role in October 2010.
“Vince is part of the DNA of Disney/ABC, and he will be greatly missed when he departs next year,” Ben Sherwood, president of Disney/ABC Television Group, said in a statement. “We are all thankful for his insights and his contributions to our success, and we thank him for everything he has done to build Disney/ABC and position it for a successful future.”
In the late ’80s, Roberts served for two years as senior VP of production at Color Systems Technology — which during his tenure won an Emmy for technical achievement for the video-coloring process — before rejoining Disney Channel in 1989 as VP of engineering and operations. Prior to joining Disney, Roberts spent several years in videodisc R&D and manufacturing with MCA and JVC/EMI/GE.
“I’ve had the privilege to work alongside dozens of great leaders and with hundreds of incredibly talented and dedicated people from each of whom I learned so much,” Roberts said in a statement. “Together we have accomplished amazing feats that I would have never dreamed possible when I first arrived at Disney.”
As CTO and head of operations, Roberts oversees Disney/ABC TV’s broadcast operating and technical functions of the ABC Television Network, Disney Channel Worldwide, Disney XD, Disney Junior, ABC Family and Disney ABC Domestic Television. In addition, he supports Disney-ABC International Television and the engineering teams of ABC’s eight owned TV stations.
Roberts co-chaired the FCC’s Video Programming Accessibility Committee (VPAAC) on Internet closed captioning and was chairman of the innovation advisory board for Imagine Communications. Additionally, he has served as chairman of the executive board of USC’s Entertainment Technology Center and was recent recipient of their Bob Lambert Technology Leadership Award.
Roberts is a SMPTE fellow as well as a member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), Society of Cable Television Engineers (SCTE) and the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. He also serves on the board of the North American Broadcasters Association (NABA). Roberts has nine U.S. and international patents pending and has been granted two internationally.