Vinton exec’s tooned out

Farnath ankles ani house

Vinton Studios topper Jeff Farnath has ankled the indie animation house after he was unable to come to terms on a contract renewal with chairman and owner Phil Knight.

Bob Harold, a board member and former finance exec for Knight at Nike, will take over as interim CEO until a replacement can be found.

Portland-based Vinton is actively working on several CGI and stop-motion animated pics for major studios and on its own. Creative director Henry Selick is working on CG short “Moongirl” and will soon begin production on an adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s children’s book “Coraline.”

Farnath joined Vinton as chief financial officer in 2000 and was named prexy-CEO in 2001.

Departure of Farnath may put a crimp in Vinton’s ambitions to enter into a Pixar-like distribution partnership with a major studio. Exec had been planning to travel to Hollywood this spring with Knight in hopes of setting up such a deal.

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