Business Wire

Weta Digital Welcomes Distinguished Industry Leaders to Board of Directors and Establishes Offices in California

Share

Weta Digital, one of the world’s premiere visual effects facilities and parent company of Weta Animated, has announced the addition of industry leaders Tom Staggs, Jeff Huber and Ken Kamins to its Board of Directors. The appointment of Staggs, Huber and Kamins reflect the continued growth and innovation of the company, which is also opening offices in Los Angeles and San Francisco.

This press release features multimedia. View the full release here: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20201217005350/en/

Prem Akkaraju, CEO Weta Digital Shot at Weta Digital's West Hollywood office December 2020 Photo: Mary Ann Akkaraju (Photo: Business Wire)

Prem Akkaraju, CEO Weta Digital Shot at Weta Digital's West Hollywood office December 2020 Photo: Mary Ann Akkaraju (Photo: Business Wire)

“Tom, Jeff and Ken are extraordinary additions to the board of Weta Digital,” said Prem Akkaraju, Global CEO of Weta Digital. “They have established best practices at the highest levels of company management, in entertainment and digital technology. Their combined business acumen and collective depth of experience perfectly positions Weta Digital for exponential growth. Opening offices in Los Angeles and San Francisco enables storytellers to tap Weta’s production pipeline and work with concept designers, animation supervisors and other key creatives, in both the US and New Zealand. Weta Digital’s expansion comes at a time when much of the film industry is experiencing extraordinary uncertainty as we grapple with the ongoing impact of Covid-19. We’re extremely fortunate that New Zealand got in front of the curve early - it’s one of the few places in the world that has managed community transmission, where you can make a film safely, without the restrictive protocols of other markets.”

Tom Staggs brings more than 26-years of experience at The Walt Disney Company, including 18 years of C-suite experience with the company. He was most recently Disney’s Chief Operating Officer, having previously served for five years as Chairman of Disney Parks and Resorts Worldwide and for nearly 12 years as Disney’s Chief Financial Officer. During his time at Disney, Staggs helped shape Disney’s strategic, financial, operational, creative and brand management strategies across every segment of the company and helped drive many of Disney’s most important initiatives including the acquisitions of Cap Cities/ABC, Pixar and Marvel. Since departing Disney in late 2016, Staggs has focused on developing several new business ventures across a variety of fields. He is a board member and advisor to a number of private companies, and also serves on the board of directors of music streaming service Spotify. Before joining Disney, Staggs was an investment banker at Morgan Stanley and Dain Bosworth.

“I have long admired Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh’s filmmaking talents and Weta Digital’s accomplishments in animation and visual effects. Weta Digital’s rare combination of creative talent and technology gives them a unique ability to succeed in high-end animation production,” said Staggs. “I look forward to working with Peter, Fran, Prem and the entire Weta Digital team on the animation business and further global expansion.”

Jeff Huber is the former Founding CEO and Vice Chairman of GRAIL and previously a Senior Vice President at Google. Having spent over 13 years at Google, Huber co-founded the company’s life sciences efforts in Google X and led development and scaling for Google Maps, Google Apps and Google Ads. During his tenure as an executive at Google, Jeff oversaw 50x growth in revenues (from $1 billion to >$50 billion) and organization (1,000 to >50,000 employees), and managed a $5 billion P&L and large distributed teams (5,000+ direct-line employees). Prior to Google, Huber served as Vice President of Architecture and Systems Development at eBay and Senior Vice President of Engineering at Excite@Home, where he led consumer product and infrastructure development.

"Weta Digital is known around the world for its astounding visual effects and inventive storytelling. This amazing artistry is driven by groundbreaking technology and non-stop innovation,” said Huber. “The research and development teams at Weta Digital have consistently produced magic and raised the bar as to what is possible. I look forward to the adventures ahead with Peter, Fran, Prem and the entire Weta Digital Team, growing the company in scale and technology excellence to create the next generation of culture-defining stories and experiences."

Ken Kamins is the Founder and CEO of Key Creatives, a management-production company. He has represented Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh since 1992, and his Executive Producer credits include The Hobbit Trilogy, District 9, and The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn. Prior to his current position, he served as Executive Vice President of the talent agency, International Creative Management; and before that, as Executive Vice President of RCA/Columbia Pictures Home Entertainment.

“I’ve had a front row seat for the entire growth curve of Weta Digital, from its beginnings in 1993 when the company consisted of just one computer and one artist creating the digital effects in “Heavenly Creatures”, through to this moment,” said Kamins. “Weta Digital was designed by Peter and Fran to be a creative haven for filmmakers - a place where they could let their imaginations run wild. No idea was too crazy or too difficult to try. In collaboration with the many great artists Weta has had the privilege to work with, Joe Letteri, David Conley and their teams have consistently pushed the boundaries of imaginative storytelling.”

Staggs, Huber and Kamins join Weta Digital board members Peter Jackson, Fran Walsh, Sean Parker, Joe Letteri and CEO Prem Akkaraju.

ABOUT WETA DIGITAL:

Weta Digital is the standard-bearer for creativity and innovation in visual effects and animation, attracting talent, partners, and clients that seek to push what is possible in pursuit of their artistic vision. Weta’s proprietary pipeline continues to evolve and provide artists with the tools they need to create their best work. Based in Wellington, New Zealand, Weta Digital is the largest single-site VFX studio in the world drawing artists from over 40 countries. They are some of the most creative and ambitious artists, engineers, and executives in entertainment and their work has earned six visual effects Academy Awards, ten Academy Sci-Tech Awards and six visual effects BAFTA Awards in addition to the 34 Visual Effects Society Awards awarded to them by their peers. Ground-breaking, performance-driven animated characters from Gollum to Caesar, and worlds from Middle-earth to Pandora, are regarded as some of the best visual effects ever to appear on screen.

For more information:
Corporate: www.wetastudios.com
Weta Digital: www.wetafx.co.nz
Follow: @weta_digital

Contact information

Mara Buxbaum, ID | TeamWetaDigital@id-pr.com
Carol Marshall, CMPR | carol@cmarshallpr.com
Dave Gougé, Weta Digital | dgouge@wetafx.co.nz

About Business Wire

For more than 50 years, Business Wire has been the global leader in press release distribution and regulatory disclosure.

Subscribe to releases from Business Wire

Subscribe to all the latest releases from Business Wire by registering your e-mail address below. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Latest releases from Business Wire

myPOS Releases a High-class Android Payment Terminal at an Unbeatable Price on the European Market28.1.2021 13:47:00 EETPress release

As the demand for more advanced payment devices grows, European fintech provider myPOS (www.mypos.com) introduces yet another payment innovation - the new myPOS Carbon, which combines the intelligent Android OS with shock, dust and water resistance. This press release features multimedia. View the full release here: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20210128005525/en/ The new myPOS Carbon combines the intelligence of Android 9.0 with dust, water and shock resistance at an unbeatable price. (Photo: Business Wire) Traditional POS terminals with keys are gradually being replaced by Android-run card payment devices. While the latter provide a better payment experience for businesses and customers, at the same time they have a higher cost and are too vulnerable to dust, liquids and shocks. At a restaurant, cafe, car rental company or even a petrol station, minor accidents with a POS are likely to occur and the cost of replacing a POS terminal with a printer is not negligible. Christo G

TREKSTOR Donates 100.000 FFP2 Respirators to Tafel Deutschland e.V.28.1.2021 13:43:00 EETPress release

Today the TREKSTOR GmbH, the manufacturer behind the blnk branded healthcare products, completed delivery of 100.000 FFP2 class respirators to the Tafel Deutschland. This is a reaction to the increased demand for certified PPE products created by both decisions of the federal government as well as the FFP2 mandate active in the state of Bavaria. This press release features multimedia. View the full release here: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20210128005522/en/ A volunteer at Tafel Bayern takes possession of and inspects the donated FFP2 respirators. (Photo: Business Wire) „As a German company, which mainly exists today due to the sales of entry-level PCs and tablets to price-sensitive customers in the past, we are aware of our responsibility to our fellow citizens“, Shimon Szmigiel, CEO of TREKSTOR, explains. „Many of them are lagging the financial prowess to purchase high quality protective equipment, a state that is worsened by lay-offs and short-time work arrangements.” The

TATA Technologies Actuates New Entity, TATA Technologies NORDICS AB in Sweden28.1.2021 13:33:00 EETPress release

Tata Technologies, a leading global engineering and product development digital services company, has commenced operations in its wholly owned subsidiary in Gothenburg, Sweden. This move marks the completion of its acquisition deal with Escenda AB in 2017. Sweden and the overall Nordics region holds strategic importance for the new entity, considering the presence of global OEMs and Tier 1 automotive majors, large export volumes, and augmented focus on vehicle electrification. Tata Technologies’ mission is to help the clients Engineer the better products and there are two key components to the company’s value proposition; the first one being outsourced product engineering services for our clients helping them conceptualize and design better products, and the second one is helping them manufacture and realize better products. Through the new delivery centre, Tata Technologies will offer its expansive portfolio of solutions covering entire product engineering value chain to customers acr

Seoul Viosys Begins Mass Production of 25Gbps VCSELs for 5G Communication Applications28.1.2021 11:40:00 EETPress release

Seoul Viosys (KOSDAQ: 092190), a leading compound semiconductor provider, announced that for the first time in Korea, Seoul Viosys succeeded in developing vertical cavity surface emitting laser (VCSEL) technology, a near-field-only 25Gbps laser diode compatible with 5G wired networks for transmitting and receiving, and has started mass production to supply these products to three initial customers. This press release features multimedia. View the full release here: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20210128005444/en/ [Figure 1] Schematic diagram of 5G network application using Seoul Viosys’ VCSELs (Graphic: Business Wire) VCSEL is a laser diode technology that converts electrical signals into optical signals. It has recently attracted attention as a light-based communication technology that achieves ultra-high-speed data communication in 5G environments. This technology is necessary for AR/VR, 3D sensing and the camera-applied ToF (Time of Flight) for smartphones, and automotive L

REPLY: Spike Reply and Storm Reply Achieve AWS Security Competency Status28.1.2021 11:30:00 EETPress release

Reply announced today that its companies Storm Reply and Spike Reply achieved Amazon Web Services (AWS) Security Competency status. This designation recognizes that the two companies of the Reply Group have demonstrated deep expertise that helps customers achieve their cloud security goals. Achieving the AWS Security Competency differentiates Storm Reply and Spike Reply as AWS Partner Network (APN) members that provide specialized consultancy services and integrated solutions designed to help enterprises adopt, develop and deploy complex security projects on AWS. To receive the designation, APN Partners must possess deep AWS expertise and deliver solutions seamlessly on AWS. Filippo Rizzante, CTO Reply, commented: “We are proud to be among the first APN partners to achieve AWS Security Competency status. This AWS competency status confirms the ability of our teams in helping companies achieve their security goals by combining our expertise with the range of powerful security tools that

Neustar highlights rise in ransom-related DDoS attacks and greater use of existing attack vectors28.1.2021 11:30:00 EETPress release

Neustar, Inc., a global information services and technology company and leader in identity resolution, has today published its report entitled ‘Cyber Threats and Trends: Pandemic Style’, detailing the security risks faced by companies as the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the digital revolution. This press release features multimedia. View the full release here: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20210128005015/en/ Figure 1: Percentage change in number of attacks by size category, 2020 vs. 2019 (Graphic: Business Wire) Informed by data from Neustar’s Security Operations Center (SOC), the report reveals a 154 percent increase in the number of attacks between 2019 and 2020, with growth in ransom-related DDoS (RDDoS) attacks and a rise in use of existing attack vectors, including web applications. The report also provides key details around the amount, size, duration and intensity of DDoS attacks throughout 2020 to keep cyber security professionals informed. DDoS ransom attacks on the

STC calls on ADVA’s NFV suite for uCPE services28.1.2021 11:00:00 EETPress release

ADVA (FSE: ADV) today announced that the Saudi Telecom Company (STC) is rolling out on-demand virtual services using ADVA’s Ensemble suite of network functions virtualization (NFV) technologies. The new universal CPE (uCPE) offering is built on the Dell EMC Networking Virtual Edge Platform (VEP) 1405 series running ADVA’s Ensemble Edge Cloud NFV suite. Enterprise customers of STC, the largest IT service provider in the Middle East, will be able to quickly and easily access virtual services, including routing, firewall, WAN optimization, IoT and voice applications. With the industry’s largest ecosystem of virtual network functions (VNFs) to choose from, managed service customers can automatically enable new applications and services without any financial risk. “Today’s enterprises need to be agile. They require the freedom to mix and match the latest cloud technologies to seize new revenue opportunities in an instant. That’s what our new uCPE service is all about. It eliminates vendor l

In our pressroom you can read all our latest releases, find our press contacts, images, documents and other relevant information about us.

Visit our pressroom