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Daly to join DreamWorks

Ann Daly, who helped shepherd Walt Disney Home Video to industry prominence, has been named head of DreamWorks’ feature animation division.

In the new post, she will work with toon vet Ron Rocha to establish the arm as a force in amimation.

The move by Daly, who will assume her new post July 7, had been expected (Daily Variety, April 25). The restructuring of the Mouse’s homevideo division eliminated Daly’s domestic prexy post and put the vidarm’s worldwide reins in the hands of international chief Michael Johnson. Daly’s contract with the studio was also expiring.

The new post reunites Daly with Jeffrey Katzenberg, former Walt Disney studios chairman who is now a DreamWorks principal. Daly joined Disney in 1983 and was elevated to prexy in 1992.

“I felt like I had done all I could in the homevideo business and needed a new challenge,” Daly told Daily Variety. “As I was trying to decide what to do next, this opportunity came along and was too good to pass up.”

Daly is a big proponent of direct-to-video productions and helped put Disney in the leadership position releasing the specially created pics. She is also credited with changing the face of the homevideo business by transforming the studio into a sell-through leader from its roots as a rental operation.

“Ann, one of the top women executives in the entertainment industry, has been responsible for developing some of the most innovative and dynamic marketing concepts in the video business,” said Katzenberg. “She is a pioneer in her field. During our years together at Disney, she was unquestionably among the most talented and creative executives I had the pleasure to work with.”

DreamWorks’ animated division currently has in production “Prince of Egypt,” “El Dorado” and “Antz,” a 100% computer-generated feature produced with Pacific Data Images.

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