Newly appointed DreamWorks Animation president Margie Cohn announced two new leadership roles in addition to a realigned executive structure on Thursday.
Cohn named Kristin Lowe has the feature department’s chief creative officer and Peter Gal as the chief creative officer on the TV side, both of which are newly created roles. The appointments, which are effective immediately, place all aspects of creative under one leader in each division in an attempt to streamline management of upcoming slates.
Both Lowe and Gal will report directly to Cohn, who was tapped to head DreamWorks Animation in January.
“With this new structure, DWA is positioned for growth as we continue to create beloved and award-winning films and television series,” Cohn said in a statement. “Kristin and Peter are both very well-respected executives, and their leadership will only serve to strengthen DWA’s position as a home to the very best storytellers. The pitch and catch between the two divisions will ensure that diverse and unique voices can find their home regardless of the medium.”
In her new role, Lowe will oversee the feature development, casting and artistic management departments. She comes to DreamWorks Animation after 14 years at Universal Pictures, where she most recently served as executive vice president of production. Lowe has overseen production on numerous Universal box-office successes including “Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again,” “Night School” and the “Fifty Shades” trilogy, which grossed more than $1 billion globally. Lowe spent the last two years working with the DreamWorks Animation team to develop their slate since the NBCU acquisition in 2016.
Following the release of “How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World,” which opened No. 1 at the North American box office, grossing $285 million to date globally, DreamWorks will release “Abominable” in the fall. DWA boasts an impressive slate of feature films and short films in various stages of production, in addition to producing multiple non-theatrical and location-based themed entertainment projects at the Glendale studio.
Gal is expanding his previous executive vice president of development role in the TV business to include pre-school, current series, casting, music and creative talent management departments. Initially tasked with creating stories based on characters from DreamWorks Animation features like “All Hail King Julien” or “The Epic Adventures of Puss in Boots,” Gal has expanded DreamWork Animations TV’s storytelling into reimagined classics such as “Voltron: Legendary Defender” and “She-Ra and the Princesses of Power,” and is digging into Universal IP with the upcoming “Fast & Furious” animated series, in addition to originals.
The TV division has rapidly expanded since its inception in 2013, producing more than 20 original animated series that have garnered 22 Emmy awards. The studio has more than 25 shows in active production.
In addition to these new positions, Cohn has aligned the marketing, public relations, business and legal affairs, human resources and recruiting functions for both features and TV under Michael Vollman, executive vice president of marketing; Courtenay Palaski, senior vice president and head of communications; Josh Meyer, head of business affairs; and Ashley Brinsfield, head of human resources and recruiting.
All of these positions will report to Cohn, along with chief financial officer Kelly Betz; executive vice president of business operations Daniel Solnicki; and Robbin Kelly, head of legal affairs.