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Consumer Electronics Association Inducts Eleven Industry Leaders Into 2007 Hall Of Fame


At its eighth annual Consumer Electronics Hall of Fame awards ceremony held last night, 11 prominent industry leaders joined the 109 inventors, engineers, retailers, journalists and executives inducted since 2000.

Speaking at the Consumer Electronics Association’s (CEA)® Industry Forum in San Diego, Gary Shapiro, president and CEO of the association that created the awards program, praised the inductees for their phenomenal contributions to the growth of the industry, which is expected to exceed $148 billion this year.

“Our success and our vision of a better world can best be attributed to the energy and commitment of people like these new members of the Hall of Fame. Their great contributions will influence a new generation of innovators to strengthen our industry,” he said.

The 11 new members of the CE Hall of Fame are:

* Paul Allen, co-founder of Microsoft
* Dr. Amar Bose, founder and chairman of Bose Corp.
* William G. Crutchfield Jr., founder and CEO of Crutchfield Corp.
* James Edward Day, counsel, who represented CEA in the landmark Betamax case
* John McDonald, president of Casio Europe and Casio America Inc.
* Steven Sasson, inventor of the digital camera at Eastman Kodak Co.
* Richard M. “Dick” Schulze, founder and chairman of Best Buy
* Art Weinberg, journalist, who covered the CE industry for Home Furnishings Daily
* Dr. Karlheinz Brandenburg, Dr. Heinz Gerhäuser and Dr. Dieter Seitzer, co-developers of the MP3 format

Dr. Amar Bose, who founded the world famous Bose Corp., acknowledged the “wonderful people I’ve worked with through the years. I never went into business to make money. I went into business so that I could do interesting things that hadn’t been done before,” he said.

Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, Steve Sasson joined Eastman Kodak Co. in 1973, and began work on a camera using solid-state imagers. “Many questions were asked about the early digital cameras,” he recalled, “but the most notable one was when would it be available for consumers?”

The three founders of MP3 digital audio compression traveled from Munich, Germany to accept induction into the Hall of Fame and accolades from their peers. Dr. Dieter Seitzer, speaking for the trio, said that “we are not only grateful to our colleagues, but to our competitors and companies who helped develop and promote MP3 technology.”

Jack Wayman, who also is a CE Hall of Fame member, accepted the award for the late J. Edward Day. He talked of Mr. Day’s role in arguing the Betamax case up to The Supreme Court and called the decision “the Magna Carta of the consumer electronics industry.”

“Each of our accomplishments are linked to the great pioneers of our industry, like Edison,” said William G. Crutchfield Jr., who was honored as founder and CEO of Crutchfield Corp., a company that sells more than 6,700 products through its catalogs, call centers, website and two retail stores.

The awards program ended on a high note when Dick Schulze, selected for his role for shepherding the extraordinary growth and success of Best Buy, accepted his award. He recognized the men and women who supported his company’s vision including Best Buy CEO Brad Anderson who was at the dinner. “This award is for the 140,000 employees around the world and their tireless pursuit of excellence, innovation and dedication,” he said

The Hall of Fame inductees were chosen by a panel of industry judges from nominations submitted by industry professionals. Judging for the 2007 Hall of Fame took place on February 27 in New York.

Additional information about the Consumer Electronics Hall of Fame and bios of the inductees are available at


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