Sam Pemberton is CEO of Softel a well established and successful technology company providing ancillary data solutions (such as those for subtitling and interactive TV) to the global broadcast and pro-video sectors.
Born in the UK in 1975, Pemberton holds a Joint Honours Bachelors degree in Computer Science and Economics from Manchester (UK).
After graduating from Manchester, Pemberton joined Softel as part of the Technical Solutions Sales team where he played a leading role in defining, negotiating and securing successful installations of the companyâ€™s newly launched Swift non-linear subtitle creation system. Pemberton was also instrumental in providing some of the worlds largest interactive Teletext systems, many of which demonstrated very early adoption of â€œbanner styleâ€ advertising to create a profitable service for the broadcaster. He was a key player in the companyâ€™s roll-out of ad-insertion and cuing technologies â€“ a market in which the company is now the prestigious European-market leader.
Pemberton went on receive an MBA from Reading (UK) and quickly progressed through the company. In 2001 he span off Softel-USA, LLC in California to more directly serve the needs of the Americas. During his time as President & CEO of Softel-USA, Pemberton played a key role in evangelising the burgeoning interactive TV industry, and became a regular speaker at industry events such as the ATSC Annual Summit (Advanced Television Systems Committee), CES (Consumer Electronic Show), Digital Hollywood, NAB (National Association of Broadcasters), NCTA/Cable Show, and at various SMPTE (Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers) sessions.
Under Pembertonâ€™s stewardship, Softel-USA expanded quickly and in 2004 added a metro New York office. The company established itself as the leading supplier of â€œancillary dataâ€ systems to the North American broadcast market, including solutions for Broadcast Flag digital rights management, closed caption creation and playout, vChip parental controls and wide screen signalling.
In 2007 Pemberton returned to Softel in Reading (UK) to take over as CEO of a Group of companies, making him one of the youngest CEOs in the broadcast industry. In this role, Pemberton sets the vision and provides the strategic direction for the Group and is currently finalising a comprehensive re-structure of the company to support a fundamental strategic shift, including a refreshed focus on the commercial side of the business. The companyâ€™s change programme is being implemented through a new senior management team.
In line with one of the companyâ€™s principle strategies of focussing on ancillary data-based core competencies, Pemberton has overseen the recent divestment of the video graphics arm of the business (Aston Broadcast). Meanwhile, Softel has launched a range of new and overhauled products to cater to major trends in the industry such as the moves toward automated and tapeless environments.