Knight Rises to Top Spot at LAIKA

Travis Knight is the new CEO and president of LAIKA, the Portland-based animation studio behind the hit 3-D stop-motion feature film Coraline.

Knight sits on LAIKA’s board and has served since 2007 as lead animator, a job he held on Coraline.

Also stepping into a new post at the studio is Coraline producer Claire Jennings, who will be president of entertainment.

Travis Knight joined the studio as a stop-motion animator in 1998, when it was known as Will Vinton Studios. He became a member of the company’s board of directors in 2003 when his father, Nike co-founder Philip H. Knight, bought the studio and renamed it LAIKA.

Jennings won the Producers Guild of America’s producer of the year for animated theatrical movies for 2005′s Wallace and Gromit: Curse of the Were-Rabbit‘an honor she shared with Nick Park. That film also won the BAFTA Award for best British feature film and the Oscar for best animated feature.

All company divisions will report to Travis Knight, while Jennings will oversee film acquisition, development, production and marketing.