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Warner vet succeeds Katzenberg at DreamWorks

NBCUniversal has placed ex-Warner Bros. toon chief Chris DeFaria at the fill chief of DreamWorks Animation (DWA)’s new parent group, in effect replacing Jeffrey Katzenberg.

Chris deFariaThis comes after NBCU paid US$3.8 billion for DWA, placed the company within the Universal Filmed Entertainment Group.

As part of the deal, DWA founder Katzenberg stepped back from his CEO role, becoming a consultant to NBCU parent Comcast and chairman of millennials-focused digital business DreamWorks New Media.

DeFaria, most recently president of animation and innovation at Warner Bros. Animation, will now become CEO of film unit DreamWorks Filmed Entertainment Group.

Ex-Nickelodeon toon chief Marjorie Cohn, who’s been with DWA since 2013, has already been named head of animation television at the merged Universl Pictures and DWA unit.

Chris Meledandri of Minions producer Illumination Animation will continue to work as a senior advisor to DWA following deFaria’s appointment.

DeFaria’s appointment comes after Mireille Soria last month exited her role as co-president of DreamWorks Animation’s features division, with Bonnie Arnold left in charge.