DreamWorks Ani CFO Splits

DreamWorks Animation SKG today announced that chief financial officer Kristina Leslie will be leaving the company at the end of February, 2007. Until then, Leslie will continue to oversee the reporting of the company’s year-end results as DreamWorks searches for a suitable replacement.

“I have worked with Kris for more than 10 years and her leadership has been instrumental to the success of our company,” says DreamWorks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg. “I am grateful for the guidance and support she has provided from the early stages of creating DreamWorks through our transition into a public company and to a new distribution partner.”

Leslie was previously CFO of DreamWorks Studios before taking the post at the animation unit when it went public in October of 2004. Since joining Dreamworks in 1996, she has overseen such functions as corporate planning and analysis, as well as all financing and banking activities. Before becoming part of the DreamWorks team, Leslie was director of financial planning at Viacom following its acquisition of Paramount Communications.

“I have had a wonderful career here at DreamWorks and have been blessed with the opportunity to work with some of the brightest and most talented people in the industry,” Leslie comments. “I have accomplished a lot of what I set out to do and think that this is the right time for a transition for both me and the company.”

DreamWorks Animation’s has struggled financially since going public. After Shrek 2 DVD sales failed to meet expectations, Wallace & Gromit: Curse of the Were-Rabbit and Flushed Away, the sutdio’s second and third feature collaborations with Aardman Animations, performed under par at the box office. The company has been kept afloat by box office and DVD successes such as Madagascar and Over the Hedge, and is likely to rake in the dough with the up coming Shrek the Third(2007) and franchise spin-off, Puss In Boots (2009). Also in the horizon for 2009 is Monsters Vs. Aliens, but first the studio will try its luck with Bee Movie, which will floolw the third Shrek installment next year, and Kung Fu Panda, which is loaded up for in 2008.