In his role as Vice President, Business & Legal Affairs, for Warner Bros., Michael specializes in the creation, acquisition, exploitation, and protection of intellectual property, with a focus on retail brand licensing, merchandising, branded entertainment and promotions, eCommerce, and online social-media. This includes profitably building brands and growing the consumer products business at one of the most strategic global regions of Hollywood's biggest motion picture studio - in emerging markets such as China, India, Vietnam, and across Japan and the Asia Pacific. Current projects include advising on, as a member of Warner Bros. Social Media Task Force, a broad array of internet sales, customs and export, social media, privacy, and technology issues in connection with the online eCommerce store of Warner Bros. Studios, and motivating and training a geographically-dispersed team of multilingual paralegals, contract administrators and agents.
Michael came to Warner Bros. in 2007 from Panasonic, where he was part of the original founding team that took the Blu-ray Disc from upstart entertainment technology to global commercial launch. During his tenure with Panasonic, Michael drove the legal, licensing and partnership strategy that established Blu-ray Disc as the leading high definition optical storage media, for which his employer won an Emmy. Among his accomplishments, Michael is credited with successfully working with high-profile, name-brand companies in the entertainment, information technology and consumer electronics industries including Twentieth Century Fox, The Walt Disney Company, Apple, HP, Sony, Panasonic, Pioneer, TDK, Hitachi, Mitsubishi, Philips and Warner Home Video. Prior to Blu-ray, Michael also served in business and legal affairs roles at both global Fortune 100 companies and technology start-up premium brands (PSINet, Seiko Epson, FedEx). His first job out of law school was a judicial clerkship for a life tenure federal judge.
Michael is a native of Shanghai and was raised in Northern California and Asia. He earned a B.A. in International Relations from UC Davis, and a law degree from UCLA where he was on the editorial board of the Law Review. In addition, he completed the Entertainment & Media Executive Education Program (EMEP) at UCLA Anderson School of Management. His outside interests include public speaking, and he has been invited to speak at UCLA Law School, USC Law School, UCLA Business School, USC Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism, Asian Business League, National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA), Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC), and the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD).
» University of California, Los Angeles - School of Law, J.D. 1995
» University of California, Los Angeles - The Anderson School of Management, Entertainment & Media Executive Program (EMEP) 2010
Professional Associations & Memberships
» UCLA Chancellor's Society (2013-Present)
» Board of Directors, Association of Corporate Counsel Southern California Chapter (2009-Present); Member, Association of Corporate Counsel (1997-Present)
» Board of Directors, UCLA Law Alumni Association (2008-Present)
» American Chamber of Commerce in Japan (2003-05)
» The Tokyo American Club (2003-05)
Honors and Awards
» 2003 FedEx Bravo Zulu for Excellence in Management
» Speaking engagements at the 39th Japan-U.S. Business Conference (2002); the American Corporate Counsel Ass'n (2006, 2009); the Asian Bus. League of So. Cal. (2005, 2006); the Annual (2005) and Regional Conf. of the Nat'l Asian Pacific American Bar Ass'n (2006); Anime Expo: Technology, Entertainment and Licensing (2007); Foley & Lardner: CONVERGENCE 2007: Entering the China Market (2007); Warner Bros.: Perspectives on a Global Business (2008); UCLA: Social Media and Lawyers (2010); Lexis/Nexis Martindale: International Expansion (2010); USC: International IP (2010); Association of Corporate Counsel: Branding for In-House Legal Professionals (2010); Knobbe Martens Partner Retreat (2011); USC (2011); UCLA (2011-12); ACC-SoCal (2010, 2012)
» Moderator of the China Forum at the Association of Corporate Counsel
» Television appearance on LA TV 18, Mandarin Chinese programming
» Publications appearing in Asian IP, Los Angeles Daily Journal, Wall Street Journal, Intellectual Property Magazine, the Association of Corporate Counsel's Docket, etc.