July 24, 2018, Munich.
The Supervisory Board of ARRI Group announced today that Dr. Michael Neuhaeuser will be appointed as the new Executive Board member responsible for technology effective Sept 1. He succeeds Professor Franz Kraus. Franz Kraus will join the Supervisory Board and continue to work closely with the company. To clarify: Joerg Pohlman and Michael Neuhaeuser, as the Executive Board, will handle the day-to-day management of the company; the Supervisory Board…well…supervises the overall big-picture strategy of ARRI.
Franz Kraus joined ARRI more than 30 years ago and successfully guided the company in all things technological. He skillfully navigated ARRI through the turbulent times from analog to digital and led the company into the digital age of filmmaking. He has been the visionary technologist at ARRI with an infectious enthusiasm for image science and the way pictures looked, and a stubborn streak of perfectionism that tolerated no shortcuts. Franz joined ARRI in 1983 as technical Director of the newly founded ARRI Video Postproduction Unit. In 2007, he was appointed as Managing Director of Arnold & Richter Cine Technik GmbH.
Franz Kraus was responsible for major technological innovations at ARRI, including the Arrilaser, Arriscan, LED lighting and, of course, digital cameras. He was the visionary who led ARRI’s engineering teams from the experimental testing of the waters with D-20 to the popular Alexa, Alexa Mini, Alexa LF, etc. During Franz’s tenure in research and development, ARRI was presented with nine Scientific and Technical Awards (AMPAS Sci-Tech) by the Academy. In 2011, together with two colleagues, he was personally honored with an Oscar statuette (Academy Award of Merit) for the design and development of the Arrilaser digital film recorder.
One of the main reasons that Alexa cameras provide the look so many cinematographers love is because of Franz Kraus’s early years of experience at ARRI post production facilities working in color science and image aesthetic as well as a strong interest in art and culture.
My favorite Franz Kraus story is when he raced into the central hall of NAB 2001 waving a brand new Canon IXY Digital 2.11-megapixel CCD compact still camera that he had just purchased at a nearby big-box store. “This is the future of our industry,” he proclaimed. We looked at him with the kind of disbelief one might greet a prediction of the end of the world. Someone asked, “How long?” He answered, “2010.” Of course, he was right. Working models of ARRI Alexa were introduced in 2010.
Dr. Walter Stahl, Chairman of the Supervisory Board and Owner of ARRI said, “Mr. Kraus has had the biggest influence, technically speaking. I often speak with technicians and sales people and ask them their opinion on where we should go. I remember quite well when I asked Walter Trauninger’s opinion about something and he said, ‘If Mr. Kraus decides on the matter, we do not have to worry about it at all.’”
Dr. Michael Neuhaeuser, the new Executive Board member responsible for technology at the ARRI Group, previously was Vice President of Automotive Microcontroller Development at Infineon Technologies in Munich. He studied electrical engineering at the Ruhr-University Bochum, Germany, completed his doctorate in semiconductor devices, and worked for 30 years in the electronics industry. He began his industrial career at Siemens Semiconductor in Villach, Austria, and managed development at MICRAM Microelectronic in Bochum, Germany. He joined management at Infineon Technologies in 1998 where he was responsible for the digital cordless business beginning in 2005. He and his team developed the world’s first fully integrated DECT (Digital Enhanced Cordless Telecommunications) chip. In 2009, he was appointed Vice President and General Manager at Infineon Technologies Romania in Bucharest where he supervised more than 300 engineers. In 2012, he ran the automotive microcontroller development division at Infineon where he and his team developed the AURIX product family which is used in one out of two cars worldwide.