Laika Entertainment, the Oregon-based toon house owned by Nike co-founder Phil Knight, has tapped animation vet Dan Philips as VP and head of production.
Move is part of a larger shakeup at the company that saw former CEO Jeff Farnath ankle last year; he was replaced by Nike finance vet Dale Wahl. In addition, company last year changed its name from Vinton Studios, a reference to founder and claymation pioneer Will Vinton, to Laika.
Philips most recently headed the art department at DKP Studios, which is owned by IDT Entertainment and is making the toon “Yankee Irving.” He also worked at the Big Idea Co., where he exec produced “Jonah: A Veggie Tales Movie,” and spent time at DreamWorks Animation and Walt Disney Feature Animation.
He’ll oversee day-to-day work at Laika as it starts work on feature toons “Coraline,” directed by Henry Selick, and “Jack and Ben’s Animated Adventure,” helmed by Jorgen Klubien.