Steve Banfield Joins Sony Pictures Digital as Senior Vice President, Technology


Steve Banfield has joined Sony Pictures Digital as Senior Vice President of Technology, it was announced today by the company's executive vice president, Patrick Kennedy. The appointment is effective immediately.

Banfield joins the company from RealNetworks, Inc. and brings nearly 15 years of executive management and technical experience in building technology products that matter to hundreds of millions of consumers. In the newly-created post, he will provide the senior leadership and strategic vision to Sony Pictures Digital's technology initiatives. Specifically, he will be responsible for building the infrastructure to support the company's many consumer-driven digital entertainment businesses, including SoapCity and Screenblast, as well as developing platforms and identifying technology solutions for future consumer products and services to be delivered to an audience of millions of consumers seeking entertainment.

"Steve has an impressive track record of building technology products and solving complex business problems," said Kennedy. "He blends creative vision, business acumen, engineering pragmatism and leadership skills to ensure Sony Pictures Digital has the right technological foundation for its businesses today and moving forward."

"This position requires a focus broader than simply identifying the right technology solution. My goal is to make sure the infrastructure does not get in the way of the consumer and that the entertainment experience remains the priority across the many different types of digital businesses we are building," said Banfield. "It's an exciting opportunity to be part of Sony Pictures Digital leadership, and I'm proud to have made the move."

Banfield joins Sony Pictures Digital having most recently served as Vice President of Strategic Relations at RealNetworks. In that role, he was responsible for the company's product evangelism efforts, as well as the development of new distribution avenues through partners and other key industry leaders.

Banfield joined RealNetworks in 1998 as group program manager for the company's RealPlayer®. In 1999, he was promoted to General Manager of Consumer Products with responsibility for the strategic direction of RealNetworks' consumer applications. Under his leadership, the division shipped three releases of RealPlayer, plus the RealOne™ Platform and RealOne Player, and substantially grew the company's user base from 30 million to 285 million.

Prior to his tenure at RealNetworks, Banfield led product development and marketing initiatives at such leading technology companies as Microsoft, where he was involved in the development of Windows 95, NCR, and IBM.

Banfield holds an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School, and is a graduate of Transylvania University, where he received a degree in Computer Science.

About Sony Pictures Digital

Sony Pictures Digital, an operating unit of Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE), oversees the activities of SPE's digital production and online assets including Sony Pictures Animation, Sony Pictures Imageworks, Sony Online Entertainment, and Sony Pictures Digital Networks which includes SoapCity, Screenblast, the studio's online promotional arm SPiN, and the UK interactive television service GoPlayTV. Sony Pictures Digital focuses on three areas: 1) producing and developing visual effects, digital character animation and full-length CG motion pictures; 2) developing new forms of online content, games and interactive programming; and 3) leading SPE's efforts to provide online, open-access video-on-demand, interactive and wireless entertainment.

SOURCE: Sony Pictures Digital

CONTACT: Don Levy of Sony Pictures Digital, +1-310-840-7315,