Jeffrey Katzenberg Rumored As Candidate for Top Post at Sony
The major news out of Hollywood last night was that Sony Entertainment CEO Michael Lynton is stepping down, to become chairman of the board at Snapchat.
The details of Lynton’s resignation are better covered by places like The New York Times and Deadline, but it should be pointed out that just a few days, Sony was still pretending that everything was fine and dismissed reports of Lynton’s situation as “nothing but baseless rumor and speculation.”
The part of the story that relates to animation, however, is what comes next, specifically, who will become Lynton’s successor. Lynton has agreed to stay on for six months to help find his replacement, and among the names being bandied about is none other than Jeffrey Katzenberg, founder of Dreawmorks Animation. The rumor that Katzenberg is among the pool of candidates comes from both Variety and Deadline. (Both of those publications are owned by the same company, Penske Business Media.)
Since Katzenberg sold Dreamworks to Comcast-NBCUniversal last year and cashed out with a nearly $400 million package, he has kept a low profile as the head of Dreamworks New Media, which focus on digital and online properties like Awesomeness TV. He was announced earlier this week as a judge for a Youtube competition focused around Elton John’s music.
Katzenberg is by no means a shoe-in for the job, and there are plenty of other names in the hat as well, from Tribune Media president and CEO Peter Liguori to former Fox chairman/CEO Jim Gianopulos. This piece on The Wrap runs down some of the contenders. But should Katzenberg assume the reins at Sony, it would be an interesting new chapter not only in his career but also the animation industry.