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Dreamworks Animation CFO Leaving

18 Dec, 2006 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Dreamworks Animation SKG today announced the departure of CFO Kristina Leslie, effective the end of February 2007.

The studio has begun a search for Leslie's replacement.

Leslie, who has been CFO since 2004 when Dreamworks Animation spun off from Dreamworks SKG as a separate company, had helped oversee the studio's resurgence in 2006 (helped by theatrical release Flushed Away and catalog title Madagascar) following a disappointing 2005.

The publicly traded animation unit came under federal scrutiny following reports DreamWorks CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg had informed select employees the company would miss quarterly earnings projections prior to their release May 10, 2005, after the market close — a violation of Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) law.

DreamWorks posted disappointing results when it disclosed unexpected high DVD returns of Shrek 2 and Shark Tale.

The studio has said it expects to make back about $7.1 million in unrecouped costs associated with Shrek 2. Dreamworks Animation reported third quarter net income of $10.3 million, compared to a loss of $700,000 during the same period last year.

“I have worked with Kris for more than 10 years and her leadership has been instrumental to the success of our company,” said Katzenberg, in a statement. “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 [Paramount Home Entertainment].”

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