Former Viacom president and CEO Tom Freston has been elected to the board of directors at DreamWorks Animation SKG. He will work closely with CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg and other principals to help usher the next phase of the toon studio’s development, which includes a shift to stereoscopic 3-D animated films.
Freston held various executive positions at Viacom over the course of more than 26 years. Before his brief stint as president and CEO, which lasted from January to September of 2006, he served as co-president and co-COO. Before that, he co-founded MTV and was chairman and CEO of MTV Networks, which encompasses Nickelodeon, Nicktoons Network, Noggin and Comedy Central, among other broadcast outlets.
‘Tom is a tremendous addition to our distinguished board of directors and I’m pleased to welcome him to DreamWorks Animation,’ comments Jeffrey Katzenberg, CEO of DreamWorks Animation. ‘His wealth of leadership experience in the entertainment industry will serve the Company well.’
Freston currently serves on the board of the American Museum of Natural History and the board of trustees for Emerson College in Boston. He has also chaired numerous charity campaigns for leading organizations within the entertainment industry.
DreamWorks Animation’s next release, the Jerry Seinfeld comedy Bee Movie, is set to arrive in theaters November 2 and will be followed in June of 2008 by Kung Fu Panda, featuring the voices of Jack Black, Angelina Jolie, Jackie Chan, Lucy Liu, Dustin Hoffman and Ian McShane. Monsters vs. Aliens, the company’s first film built from the ground up for stereoscopic exhibition, is currently slated for release on March 27, 2009.