More executive leadership news out of Glendale this morning as DreamWorks Animation has just announced that Randy Lake will become the studio’s new Chief Operating Officer when he joins the company in July. Lake will take over responsibilities for the studio’s strategic planning and primary business operations, including feature and television production, post-production, business and legal affairs, finance and technology. The appointment was made by DreamWorks Animation President Margie Cohn, who took over the studio reigns this past January at the same time the studio announced that DreamWorks Feature Animation Group President Chris DeFaria would be leaving the company after the February release of How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World.
“As we solidify our leadership team, Randy provides a strong strategic vision that will be beneficial to the entire studio as we partner in taking DreamWorks into the future,” said Cohn. “His years of experience working cross-divisionally will allow us to expand upon the successful collaboration between our film and television divisions, as well as with our colleagues at Universal, furthering DreamWorks position as one of the most prolific animation studios in the world.”
Lake commented, “I’m thrilled to be joining Margie and her passionate and talented team and look forward to this opportunity to build upon DreamWorks’ storied legacy during such an exciting time at the studio.”
Lake’s appointment comes right on the heels of two newly created senior executive position announcements this past February 28, when Kristin Lowe was named Chief Creative Officer, Features and Peter Gal was named Chief Creative Officer, Television. At the same time, Cohn reportedly aligned the marketing, public relations, business and legal affairs, human resources and recruiting functions for both features and television respectively under Michael Vollman, EVP, Marketing; Courtenay Palaski, SVP/Head of Communications; Josh Meyer, Head of Business Affairs; and Ashley Brinsfield, Head of Human Resources and Recruiting.
Illumination founder and CEO, Chris Meledandri, who has reportedly been working closely with Universal Pictures Chairman Donna Langley and the Universal team since the studio acquired DreamWorks Animation back in August 2016, continues to support all areas of DreamWorks Animation in his strategic role as Senior Advisor. He is also overseeing the reimagining of the Shrek franchise, while Illumination executive Latifa Ouaou is spearheading development on the Puss in Boots sequel. Oscar-winning Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse co-director Bob Persichetti just recently signed on to direct Puss in Boots 2 – he served as head of story and voiced a role in the original 2011 Oscar-nominated feature.
Lake most recently served as President of Studio Operations & Imageworks at Sony Pictures Entertainment, where he oversaw all operations, strategy, and planning for Sony Pictures Imageworks, post-production services, production services, global mastering & servicing and asset management. Lake joined Sony in 2006 as Vice President, and later Senior Vice President of Corporate Development. He is a member of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences, and the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. Prior to Sony, Lake served as a strategy consultant to the entertainment, media and technology industries for Booz Allen in New York, London and San Francisco. Lake began his career as a securities attorney with Brobeck, Pheleger & Harrison in San Francisco, and holds a JD from Harvard Law School and a BA from the University of California, Berkeley.
Source: DreamWorks Animation
Dan Sarto is Publisher and Editor-at-Large of Animation World Network.