Kelley Avery to handle worldwide distribution and strategy

DreamWorks Animation has drawn up a new position for Kelley Avery, tapping the homevideo vet to handle the distribution of its franchises across multiple platforms.

As worldwide head of franchise strategy and distribution, Avery will essentially oversee the development of the studio’s global franchise plan, including new product and business initiatives and distribution of content on physical and digital platforms. She will also supervise the company’s home entertainment biz.

Timing of the new hire comes as DreamWorks Animation has been looking to expand its current franchises, including “Shrek,” “Madagascar” and “Kung Fu Panda,” worldwide through sequels, TV specials and other spinoffs while also introducing new ones. It has eight feature toons skedded through 2012.

“With our increased slate of films and our new franchise initiatives, the time is right to bring in an executive of Kelley’s considerable talent and experience to help us develop these properties and drive new revenue opportunities across numerous platforms,” said DreamWorks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg.

The job reunites Avery with DreamWorks, where she spent eight years overseeing the company’s homevid division before becoming prexy of worldwide home entertainment at Paramount Pictures in 2006. She left the studio earlier this year (Daily Variety, May 5). Before DreamWorks and Par, Avery headed up homevid efforts at Disney for 12 years.

“All of her skills will come into play as we look to extend our beloved characters beyond the movie screen and onto television, the live stage, online and through exclusive DVD content,” said DreamWorks Animation chief operating officer Ann Daly.

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