As corporate vice president of the Media & Entertainment Group at Microsoft, Blair Westlake directs a cross-organizational group dedicated to ensuring that effective global media and entertainment partnerships, business engagements and policies are in place to meet the increasing consumer demand for access to high-quality audio and video. Under Westlake's leadership, the Group consolidates and drives Microsoft's digital media partner strategy and content delivery and licensing initiatives across the media and entertainment industries.
The Media & Entertainment Group licenses content from a third parties for a delivery via a number of Microsoft services and products, such as Xbox Live Marketplace and Zune. Westlake's team also drives Microsoft's strategies around worldwide industry technical IP public policy - including legislative and regulatory engagements - related to content-protection technologies, digital rights management (DRM), media-format standards and related technologies.
Westlake is a seasoned media and entertainment industry veteran, with more than 25 years of diverse experience encompassing home video, pay and free television distribution, video-on-demand and pay-per-view, non-theatrical content distribution, production, physical studio operations, international thematic channels development and management, strategic planning and execution for a global television business unit, magazine publishing and theme parks.
Before joining Microsoft, Westlake consulted for various media companies including Comcast Corp. and GE-NBC and was corporate executive vice president of Gemstar-TV Guide International, Inc. Prior to that, Westlake was chairman of Universal Television & Networks Group, a position he was appointed to in December 1997. He was an executive with Universal Studios Inc. (formerly known as MCA Inc.) for 19 years, joining the company in 1982 as a attorney in the Law Department. Before Universal Studios, he was an attorney with Great Western Financial Corporation, parent of Great Western Savings, subsequently acquired by Washington Mutual Bank.
A recognized leader in the media and entertainment industry, in 2002 Westlake was the first recipient of the Whittier College School of Law Alumni Award for Business Excellence.
He and is a member of a number of industry organizations including The Museum of Television & Radio, Executive Branch of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, the Executive Committee of the International Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, and The Pacific Council on International Policy. Westlake is a member of the Consumer Electronics Association Board of Directors and the Board Industry Leaders; Board of Directors, National Association of Television Program Executives (NATPE); Board of Directors of the Digital Entertainment Group (DEG); and Board of Directors of ContentGuard, Inc. (the company provides technology and products for rights management of digital content). Westlake is admitted and an active member of the California State Bar.