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DreamWorks Animation Taps Prez

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DreamWorks Animation Taps Prez

CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg has promoted board member Lewis Coleman to the newly created position of president of DreamWorks Animation. The former Bank of America exec will focus solely on the company’s financial aspects and will be charged with the task of smoothing over relations with investors and regulators following disappointing quarterly results that lead to a number of shareholder class-action lawsuits and a probe by the SEC.

Coleman hooked up with DreamWorks in October when the studio went public. He will report directly to Katzenberg, while Chief operating officer Ann Daly, chief financial officer Kris Leslie and general counsel Kathy Kendrick all fall under his charge. The shift will free Katzenberg to concentrate on creative matters while Coleman works to turn around the company’s 34% stock dip.

Though DreamWorks sold approximately 35 million units of Shrek 2, sales didn’t meet expectations. Another under-performer was Aardman Animations’ clay-animation feature, Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit, which made just $55 million domestically despite critical raves and burly overseas coin. Madagascar proved a saving grace with more than $500 million worldwide, and the company is hopeful for 2006 as it releases two new CG features, Over the Hedge and Flushed Away.

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