Universal Announces DreamWorks Animation Executive Lineup

Bonnie Arnold and Mireille Soria will be co-presidents of feature animation, Ann Daly stepping down

NBCUniversal has announced its new structure and senior management team for DreamWorks Animation after the acquisition of the animation organization was closed yesterday.

Bonnie Arnold and Mireille Soria will be co-presidents as Ann Daly will be stepping down from the role of DWA president.

The executive lineup and business structure is as follows (from Tuesday’s announcement):

  • The DreamWorks feature animation group will be added to Universal’s portfolio of film labels and production partners and will be run by Co-Presidents of Feature Animation, Bonnie Arnold and Mireille Soria, under the leadership of Universal Pictures Chairman, Donna Langley.
  • Margie Cohn, Head of Animation TV, will lead the integrated DreamWorks and Universal television animation business, reporting to Universal Filmed Entertainment Group Chairman, Jeff Shell.
  • NBCUniversal Brand Development President, Vince Klaseus, will lead the combined Universal and DreamWorks Animation games, digital and consumer products organization, reporting to Shell.
  • Corporate functions as well as marketing and distribution will be fully aligned with the NBCUniversal structure.
  • Former DreamWorks Animation CEO, Jeffrey Katzenberg, will become Chairman of DreamWorks new media, which will oversee NBCU’s ownership stakes in Awesomeness TV and NOVA. DreamWorks Animation President, Ann Daly, will step down from her post and will serve as an advisor during the transition.

“The DreamWorks Animation brand brings with it a cachet that few family entertainment companies can match,” said Ron Meyer, Vice Chairman, NBCUniversal, Jeff Shell, Chairman, Universal Filmed Entertainment Group and Donna Langley, Chairman, Universal Pictures in a joint statement.

“As we integrate its operations into Universal Filmed Entertainment, we are confident the first-class team we’ve put in place to lead various segments will build on that great tradition of success across film, television and related businesses,” they added.

Katzenberg’s move into head of DWA’s new media unit comes as no surprise. It was announced in late March along with the pending merger and the fact that he would be transitioning out of his role as CEO. Among the things he will oversee in his new job are the company’s ownership of Awesomeness TV, a digital video venture aimed at teens, and Nova, a software start-up within the company.

Katzenberg was sued in late June when the Ann Arbor City Employees Retirement System claimed the DWA founder got way too sweet a “side deal” its merger with Universal’s parent company Comcast. They accused Katzenberg of being in “breaches of fiduciary duty as the company’s controlling stockholder, breach of contract, and breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing.”

Ahead of completing the merger with Comcast, DreamWorks Animation filed its final earnings report earlier this month, beating analyst expectations.

DreamWorks’ stock has risen by more than 95 percent in the past year, spiking dramatically in late April when the deal with Comcast was first announced.