Dolby's Chief Retires; CFO To Take Helm

Audio technologies maker said its president and chief executive, Bill Jasper, will retire next month; Chief Financial Officer Kevin Yeaman will succeed Jasper in both roles.

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Dolby Laboratories Inc., which makes audio technologies and products, said Wednesday its president and chief executive, Bill Jasper, will retire next month but will remain on the company's board of directors.

Dolby said Chief Financial Officer Kevin Yeaman will succeed Jasper in both roles and will also join the company's board.

Jasper, who will retire on March 27, joined Dolby in 1979 as the company's CFO. He was named president in 1983 and oversaw numerous technological transformations at the company, including transitions from analog to digital and cassettes to DVDs, the company said.

Dolby also said its founder, Ray Dolby, will step down as chairman of the board effective March 1, but will remain a director. Peter Gotcher, an independent investor, has accepted the position of executive chairman of the board, the company said.

Also, two executive vice presidents -- Tim Partridge and Marty Jaffe -- are resigning from Dolby to pursue other goals.

Lastly, the company expanded its board to add two new independent directors: Nicholas Donatiello Jr. and Avadis Tevanian Jr. Donatiello is president and chief executive of Odyssey Ventures Inc., a venture capital firm. Tevanian is a former software chief technology officer at Apple Computer.

Shares of Dolby declined $1.48, or 4.9 percent, to $29.98 in midday trading.

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