Laika Hires Former Universal Executive David Burke as Chief Marketing Officer

Burke was Universal’s general manager for the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland since 2006

The Oscar-winning animation studio Laika announced on Thursday that it has hired industry veteran David Burke as the company’s new chief marketing officer.

Burke joins the “Coraline” and “Kubo and the Two Strings” studio from Universal Pictures where he was general manager for the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland since 2006.

“Dave Burke is an extraordinarily talented marketing professional with over two decades of global movie business experience,” Laika CEO Travis Knight said in a statement. “As we continue to build our studio and the Laika brand, Dave’s counsel and leadership will be of immeasurable value.”

Throughout his career, Burke has planned releases on more than 380 titles, including 60 that debuted at No. 1 in the Ireland and Northern Ireland markets. In the 10 years from 2008 to 2018, he shepherded six No. 1 titles of the year at the Ireland box office and led the local Universal office to a back-to-back top market share position in 2017 and 2018.

Burke has delivered €40 million for Illumination and Universal at the Irish box office; planning the releases of each of the “Despicable Me” franchise titles through to “The Secret Life of Pets 2.” Also during his time at Universal, “Sing” debuted to the biggest opening of all-time for an original IP animation at the local box office.

“I am incredibly excited to be joining Laika in this global role,” Burke said in a statement. “I have long admired the studio and have watched it go from strength to strength as a creative and visionary force. I am proud to be a part of such a stellar and ambitious team and am looking forward to helping shape the studio’s future.”

Prior to his role with Universal Pictures, Burke worked with leading Irish independent film distributor Clarence Pictures, the distribution arm of Little Bird Ltd. and Eclipse Pictures, where he was involved in releasing a wide range of Irish and International films. He also has extensive experience in film specific third party promotions during his time with Halo, where he worked with Twentieth Century Fox and United International Pictures.