DreamWorks Animation Chairman Roger Enrico Resigns

DreamWorks Animation boardmember Mellody Hobson will replace Enrico 

DreamWorks Animation Chairman Roger Enrico has resigned effective immediately and fellow board member Mellody Hobson will replace him, the company announced on Thursday.

Enrico has been the chairman of the company since it went public in 2004. The former Chairman and CEO of Pepsi joined DreamWorks Animation after 31 years at the food and beverage conglomerate (see Enrico above with Michael Jackson).

"Roger has been an invaluable leader to our Board of Directors and his guidance helped put DreamWorks Animation on a path to success from day one," CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg said in a statement. "On behalf of the Board of Directors and our entire management team, I'd like to deeply thank Roger for his unfailing service over the past eight years and wish him the very best in the future."

DreamWorks co-founders Steven Spielberg, David Geffen and Katzenberg spun the animation division off as a separate company in 2004. With hit franchises like "Shrek" and "Madagascar," it has established itself as one of the major powers in the animated film space alongside Disney's Pixar.

DreamWorks Animation recently signed a new distribution deal with Fox after several years aligned with Paramount. Paramount has one more DreamWorks Animation to distribute, November's "Rise of the Guardians," before their deal expires at the end of this year.

Also Read: Paramount's Meager Slate Imperils Studio's Box Office Crown

Fox has a strong animation division of its own, anchored by Connecticut-based Blue Sky Studios. However, its annual output of one film is smaller than that of DreamWorks Animation, which releases two to three projects per year.

Though Enrico was the chairman, Katzenberg has long been the public face of the company, which is unusual among American public companies in splitting the CEO and chairman positions. Hobson, a Starbucks and Estee Lauder boardmember, is the president of Ariel Investments and the girlfriend of George Lucas.

The company's share price is up 24 percent year-to-date even though its most recent earnings report disappointed.

Image with Jackson courtesy of Getty Images