Pushing on

David Cyril Habiger, president and CEO, Sonic Solutions

David Cyril Habiger believes that his business should be an extension of his true interests and passions.

He started out as a content creator producing documentaries, but he struggled, and at the time, he blamed “expensive equipment” for his lack of success. He realized later that he simple didn’t have the talent for that profession, but he loved the industry, so he jumped on a chance to help bring movies and movie-making to the masses.

In his 17 years as an employee at Sonic Solutions, the company has had to reinvent itself three times and almost closed doors as many times. In 2008, it faced a contracting market for DVDs paired with a major global recession. Habiger and his team had been laying the groundwork for its transition into electronic content delivery, but the field was a new one for them and one in which many other companies had failed. And Wall Street punished it for the move because it didn’t feel like the company had a chance. Sonic’s market cap fell in 2009, and the company was forced to lay off one-third of its employees.

Despite the setback, Habiger stuck to his plan and moved the company forward.

Today, the president and CEO has turned things around at Sonic Solutions, one of the world’s largest providers of premium Internet-accessed movie and TV content. Ninety-five percent of the world’s DVDs are created using its software, 75 percent of PCs and smartphones sold today contain its technology and 80 percent of people downloading video are using Sonic technology.

As a result of that success, the company was recently sold to Rovi Corp. at a 66 percent premium.

How to reach: Sonic Solutions, (415) 830-0649 or www.sonic.com