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CEA Names Twelve Industry Leaders to the 2008 CE Hall of Fame

Twelve new inductees to the Consumer Electronics Association’s (CEA) CE Hall of Fame were announced today at CEA’s Washington Forum conference. The CE Hall of Fame honors leaders whose significant contributions make the consumer electronics industry a vibrant, dynamic and vital part of our nation and its economy.

Gary Shapiro, president and CEO of CEA, which created the CE Hall of Fame in 2000, praised the 2008 inductees for their efforts to improve the lifestyles of consumers around the world. “I am proud to honor the accomplishments of these 12 leaders in the consumer technology industry, which provides the products and services that inform, educate, entertain and keep consumers connected. They inspire all of us,” he said.

The CE Hall of Fame includes inventors, executives, engineers, retailers and journalists who are chosen by a panel of industry judges each year. The judging for 2008 took place in New York City on February 20th. Nominations are made by industry professionals and media through online submissions. These honorees will officially be inducted into the CE Hall of Fame during an awards dinner at CEA’s Industry Forum to be held in Las Vegas on October 21, 2008. For more information about the program, visit

Following are the new 2008 CE Hall of Fame honorees listed by category:


  • Ken Kutaragi, former chairman and CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment, is considered the “Father of the PlayStation”. In 1989, he convinced Sony to develop a next-generation game machine and convinced skeptical executives to release PlayStation in 1994. It quickly became the best-selling game console.
  • Dr. Fritz Sennheiser, a pioneer in microphone and headphone technology, founded Sennheiser Electronic Corp. in Hanover, Germany. His innovations include the shotgun microphone, open-back headphones, infrared transmission technology and developments in multi-channel wireless technology.
  • Team: Martin Cooper and Donald Linder led the Motorola engineering team that developed the first mobile phone, the DynaTAC, in less than six months.


  • Joe Clayton, former CEO of RCA/Thomson and CEO of Sirius Satellite Radio. Clayton also played a large role in the launch and success of DirecTV in 1994. In addition, Clayton served as chairman of CEA from 1995 through 1996, during a period of rapid change.
  • Eddy Hartenstein, former president and later chairman and CEO of DirecTV Inc., built DirecTV into the second largest pay TV service in the U.S. In 2004, Hughes sold DirecTV to News Corp.
  • Warren Lieberfarb, former president of Warner Home Video, was dubbed by Variety as “The Father of the DVD.” Recognizing a need for a next-generation format, he negotiated with rival studios, retailers and competing CE and PC manufacturers to create a single format.


  • The late Jewel and David Abt founded Chicago’s Abt Electronics in 1936, one of the Midwest’s largest electronic retailers. This mom-and-pop store is still family owned and operated.
  • Richard Sharp became president of the newly-named Circuit City in 1984, CEO from 1986 to 2000 and chairman of the board from 1994 until 2006, during its period of greatest growth.


  • The late Hans Fantel was a leading consumer electronics journalist. He was a founding editor at Stereo Review and covered consumer electronics for The New York Times for 31 years before retiring in 1994.


  • The late Dean Dunlavey was a trial lawyer who represented Sony and successfully argued the Betamax case before the U.S. Supreme Court in 1983. The following year, the court ruled for Sony, establishing a definition of fair use which allowed the creation of many businesses including the VCR and the home video business.

About CEA:
The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) is the preeminent trade association promoting growth in the $161 billion U.S. consumer electronics industry. More than 2,200 companies enjoy the benefits of CEA membership, including legislative advocacy, market research, technical training and education, industry promotion and the fostering of business and strategic relationships. CEA also sponsors and manages the International CES – Where Entertainment, Technology and Business Converge. All profits from CES are reinvested into CEA’s industry services. Find CEA online at

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