Leonardo Chiariglione (born 1943 in Almese, Turin province, Piedmont, Italy) is an Italian engineer. He has been at the forefront of a number of initiatives that have helped shape media technology and business as we know them today, in particular he is the chairman and co-founded the Moving Picture Experts Group (MPEG) together with Hiroshi Yasuda.
He earned a masters in Electronic Engineering at the Polytechnic of Turin (1967), then obtained his Ph.D. degree at the University of Tokyo in 1973, where he also learned to speak Japanese. Chiariglione speaks five languages including English and French.
From March 1971 until July 2003, he was with CSELT, the corporate research center of the Telecom Italia group. His final position there was Vice President, Multimedia, at Telecom Italia Lab, the new name given to CSELT in 2001.
He has led a number of European collaborative projects :
He has initiated various efforts to define internationally agreed specifications, such as DAVIC (the Digital Audio-Visual Council) in 1994 and FIPA (the Foundation for Intelligent Physical Agents) in 1996.
But the project for which he is probably best known started in 1988, when he originated the ISO standardization activity known as MPEG (or Moving Picture Experts Group) (officially ISO TC97/SC2/WG8/MPEG, now ISO IEC-JTC1/SC29/WG11), of which he has been the Convenor from the start. This group, with a membership of over 300 experts, representing 20 countries and various industries having a stake in digital audio and video, produced the MPEG-1 and MPEG-2 standards that have facilitated the digital audio-visual revolution.
In 1999, he was asked to be the Executive Director of Secure Digital Music Initiative, a forum comprising hundreds of companies to develop specifications for an open standard secure digital music delivery technology. He stepped down from this post in 2001, having expressed frustration about conflicts between the members of the group, which had failed to produce effective anti-piracy specifications.
He is currently CEO of cedeo.net.
He was appointed as Distinguished Invited Professor at Information and Communication University, Daejeon, Korea in 2004.
Chiariglione was given Honorary Membership of the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE) in October 2014.
Chiariglione was also awarded with Charles F. Jenkins lifetime achievement award (an Emmy Engineering Award) in recognition of 30 years of work being founder and chairman of Motion Picture Experts Group (MPEG) and leading the MPEG in setting the worldwide standards for digital video compression and transmission. In his blog post, while thanking for this recognition award he also highlighted some big issues to be addressed in the future.