Warren Lieberfarb, perhaps the most influential person in the creation and launch of the DVD format has been released from his contract with Warner Brothers this last weekend.
Lieberfarb, who has been working for Warner since 1975 is credited with having the original vision of a digital based home video format which eventually led to the creation of DVD. In 1997, the company under Lieberfarb pushed hard for the format while many studios waffled between DVD and the competing DiVX. Warner continues to lead the industry in DVD releases, distributing their own films as well as those from HBO and New Line Home Entertainment.
Despite posting four billion dollars in revenue last year, Warner has come under fire after the languishing merger with AOL, and Lieberfarb has stirred up controversy pressuring the theatrical and video branches of the corporation to merge as many other studios have done. Although restructuring is likely at Warner Brothers in the coming months, Vice President James Cardwell is likely to assume leadership of the company.
Whatever the future holds for Warren Lieberfarb, the DVD community owes him thanks for his long commitment to the format.