Meg Whitman has been appointed CEO of a new venture backed by Jeffrey Katzenberg that aims to revolutionize entertainment with short-form premium content customized for mobile consumption.Whitman is a seasoned Silicon Valley mogul, with more than three decades of experience leading huge brands including Hewlett Packard and eBay. Since taking the top job at HP in 2011, she oversaw the split of the hardware giant into two separate companies.Whitman, 61, announced last November that she was stepping down as CEO...
When Katzenberg sold his DreamWorks Animation to Comcast’s NBCUniversal last year for $3.8 billion, you might have assumed the 66-year-old would finally take it easy after enjoying the kind of career that leaves him with nothing left to prove. But if there’s anything Katzenberg has demonstrated in the past is that he loves to reinvent himself with a new challenge.
His new mission is WndrCo, a holding company that plans to make a series of bold investments across the digital landscape. Job one is finding a major distribution partner to back a venture he’s looking to launch that will get the biggest players in movies and TV to begin producing content of equal quality in shorter formats for mobile consumption.
It’s a tall order but skeptics would do well to remember that a Katzenberg project is never for the faint at heart. He got David Geffen and Steven Spielberg together in 1994 to launch the first new studio, Dreamworks SKG, to hit Hollywood in the previous 65 years. The venture followed a highly publicized, acrimonious split with Michael Eisner at Disney, where he pioneered the emergence of kid-friendly animated films as box-office juggernauts. Before that came a stint at Paramount at the side of another Hollywood legend, Barry Diller. Not bad for someone who thought he was going to embark on a career in politics growing up in New York City.