Jeffrey Katzenberg’s Salary Cut to Mere $6.4 Million

Photo: s_bukley/

No one is laughing anymore at DreamWorks. (Photo: s_bukley/

The 500-plus employees who were laid off at DreamWorks Animation aren’t the only ones struggling now. According to an SEC filing made yesterday, the studio’s poor financial performance has affected founder and CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg, whose annual compensation plummeted over $7 million in 2014.

Katzenberg earned a pitiful $6.4 million in 2014, a reduction of 53% from the $13.5 million he earned a year earlier. Of that amount, $500,000 was spent on personal security services. Fortunately Katzenberg appears to have squirreled away a few dollars for tough times; his net worth is reportedly between $800 million to one billion dollars.

Not so lucky are the rest of the studio’s top officers, nearly all of whom have been affected by the company’s recent struggles. Here are the other executives who are just one more Penguins of Madagascar away from the soup line:

Ann Daly, DreamWorks Animation president
2013 salary: $8 million
2014 salary: $4.2 million

Michael Francis, DreamWorks Animation chief global brand officer
2013 salary: $6.1 million
2014 salary: $3.3 million

Fazal Merchant, DreamWorks Animation CFO
2013 salary: not hired yet
2014 salary: $2.5 million

Mark Zoradi, former DreamWorks Animation COO
2013 salary: not hired yet
2014 salary (beginning in August): $2.1 million

Lewis Coleman, former DreamWorks Animation vice-chairman and CFO
2013 salary: $3.1 million
2014 salary: $3.4 million

  • John McBloom


  • Richard B. Riddick

    Everyone has to make sacrifices when it comes to artistic integrity.

  • Tres Swygert

    He’s still earning, as well as having a net worth that is strong, so it is better than nothing.

    For the animators who still are facing challenges due to the closing of PDI, continue to be strong in your new direction(s).

  • Surprise Surprise

    Oh No! How will the little guy survive? We’re all pulling for you in these tough times JK. We know you can do it.

    On a side note… Here’s how you can save 15.5 MILLION Dollars, and get rid of some general jack-assery in your Studio:

    Fire Ann Daly, Michael Francis, Fazal Merchant, Mark Zoradi, and you’ve already sh!t-canned Lewis Coleman.

    Are you *really* surprised that Dreamworks is bleeding money out of their butt? Look how much money you pay these boobs that contribute *nothing* to the film-making process.

  • Corwin Haught

    Chief Financial Officer. He makes sure the company has proper financial planning.

  • Mermaid Warrior

    DreamWorks is kind of weird, they make so many mediocre (though to their credit, still often enjoyable) films, but when the’re good, they’re REALLY DAMN GOOD. I don’t expect all of their films to be HTTYD or KFP, but if they could at least do films of that quality more consistently, they’d probably be in better shape.

  • Chicken McPhee

    How will he pay the rent? And btw, he must pay BIG on taxes.

    • Jaaso

      He probably doesn’t pay that much in taxes.

  • spooner

    Thats probably how much he pays in paychecks every two weeks to his 2500 people he emqloys . Dreamworks opetationg cost are probably over 200 million in paychecks alone so how much Jeffrey earns does not make much of a difference.

    • white vader

      Do you actually think *he* pays that? You make it sound like it’s coming from his pocket or something! And even if you go by 1 percent’s dismissal up there, that’s still half a movie animated. Uh, it’s a big difference.

      And he employs a helluva lot less after getting rid of so many.

      And it’s not the first time – remember when he was at Disney with Eisner and made the “end of 2d animation” a self-fulfilling prophecy? Fired the 2d guys to make Dinosaur because 3d was the wave of the future, it bombed. hired some back, the next stuff bombed. Apparently they were right about 3d after all so – fired all the remaining 2d guys (and didn’t even let them buy their own desks which were being sold anyway). And what about the Florida fiasco with the interns? If you’re going to attribute everything to his leadership then…

      I guess the real question is, why are you even defending him or playing devil’s advocate (see what I…)? His “vision” is just milking every property (that he didn’t come up with) ’til kingdom come. At least Spielberg contributes something to the DW SKG partnership… oh – the other question I guess is that if we follow this logic that it doesn’t make much of a difference, can he please hire the analogous amount of animators back then? Seeing as it won’t make much of a difference and all…

  • starss

    Oh no! How will he survive!?

  • 1 Percent but…

    So roughly like 40-50 animators worth of yearly salary?
    Yes. Feature film guys make base (80k to senior 125k) plus benefits.

    Rounding to average cost of animator on a feature to about 150k (cost of salary/meals/health). So 40 or 50 people for a year who can each produce, what…. A minute of approved animation (being generous)… i don’t know. doesn’t sound ragingly high. Dreamworks had a great run and theirs a lot of nice houses bought w/ dat there money. Trust me. I’ve got the facebook likes to prove it :)

  • Anonymous

    He still has income from his foods division with the hot selling “Katzenberg’s Kettle Korn.”

  • Boo Sparx

    Bloated for too many years. Too much spending . . too much ego, not enough thoughtful business management. Sorry to hear it.

  • wow

    Lol 6.4 million pitiful LOL

  • BurntToShreds

    The stereotype seems to be that CEOs just sit in their office smoking cigars or go off playing golf somewhere, but it’s a much more complex job than that. I’ve said this on a previous article here that was about Bob Iger: Working in concert with many other people to ensure the day-to-day and long-term profitability of a big company is not an easy task. How much, in your opinion, do you think someone in that position should make?

    • Xe4

      Not millions of dollars, especially when the company is going bankrupt and laying off employees. Tell me this, do you think CEO’s put in more effort than the animators or the script writers?

    • Ravlic

      It’s also no easy task to animate a feature film and yet these people don’t make millions of dollars. And if you have greenlit the amount of abysmal productions that anyone with a brain could see would fail, would you still say you were not only deserving of making all those millions, but even of continuing to head the company? Heading an animation studio is not just about making a bunch of phone calls, it’s about making decisions that are not actively trying to kill it. And when you and some other big guns actually, seriously think that “a super fast snail who goes to race with cars” or “a girl on an advanture with a runaway alien” or “a baby becomes a boss of a company” count as good premises, then sorry, you’re the one who shouldn’t be keeping your job, not all the animators who visually always do a good job.

  • Ted

    When you look at his whole career, he’s headed up the studios that have given us many of the absolute best animated features of the last thirty years. Is it fair that anyone in Hollywood makes those huge salaries? Probably not, but they give us some good movies, that’s for sure.

    • jaaso

      They’re not the ones giving us.

  • d. harry

    If Jeffy wants to earn more money he should:
    1. Fire most of the upper management.
    2. Unless they can draw, get rid of them.
    3. Check film ideas with his top animation staff.
    4. Keep only those who are essential to a production.
    5. Head up management yourself.
    6. Interview the top creative people to get their thoughts.
    7. Make good stories.