DreamWorks Animation has named Fazal Merchant as its new chief financial officer. Merchant is replacing current CFO Lew Coleman, who has become the Glendale, Calif-based company’s new vice chairman.
Merchant’s appointment comes on the heels of the studio making several other management changes. Recently, it promoted Ann Daly to company president and hired former Disney executive Mark Zoradi as chief operating officer. Prior to his new role as vice chairman, Coleman, in addition to his CFO position, had served as the company’s president.
The management shuffle is unfolding more than a week after shareholders filed a lawsuit against the studio for its $13.5 million write-down related to the summer 2013 film “Turbo.” According to the LA Times, the SEC is investigating. The lawsuit contends that the studio “misled investors” about the film’s poor box office performance. Coleman, says the paper, was among those named in the lawsuit.
The LA Times notes that “Turbo” was another “box-office misfire” for the studio, which also took an $87 million write-down for “Rise of the Guardians” and a $57 million write-down for “Mrs. Peabody & Sherman.”
However, the company is faring better with its latest film, “How to Train Your Dragon 2,” which has generated more than $500 million in ticket sales. The LA Times says that the film raked in $26.2 million in its opening weekend in China, making it the best opening for an animated feature in that country.
New CFO Merchant will officially start on September 15. Previously, he worked at DirecTV Latin America, where he was senior vice president and CFO. Before that, he was a managing director and group head at the Royal Bank of Scotland.
Source: Los Angeles Times DreamWorks Animation appoints new chief financial officer
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