Amblin Partners Promotes Jeff Small to President and Co-CEO (Exclusive)

Amblin Partners
Jeff Small

The move comes one day after Michael Wright re-upped his contract as the studio's CEO for four years.

Amblin Partners is continuing to solidify its executive ranks.

One day after Michael Wright re-upped his contract as CEO for four years, the studio has promoted Jeff Small to the post of president and co-CEO.

Small — who is known as a money whiz, having spearheaded Amblin Partners’ recent financial deals with Participant Media, Reliance Group and Entertainment One — most recently served as president and COO.

"I am so pleased to congratulate Jeff on this promotion to president and co-chief executive officer," said Amblin Partners chairman Steven Spielberg. "It reflects what he has done for us in both challenging and gratifying times over the last 10 years, never losing sight of our vision for Amblin Partners. With our team headed by Michael and Jeff, joined by Kristie [Macosko Krieger], Holly [Bario], Darryl [Frank] and Justin [Falvey], we hope the best is yet to come."   

Small, who played a key role in the creation of Amblin Partners in December 2015, will continue to work closely with Wright to guide the company’s business strategy. He will oversee finance, business and legal affairs, physical production, human resources, communications and administration as well managing the company’s relationships with its financial and distribution partners.

"Over the last year, I have had a firsthand view of Jeff’s innovative spirit and problem-solving acumen and felt an immediate partnership with him," Wright said. "This promotion is so well deserved, and I look forward to working together with Jeff, Steven and the team as we grow Amblin Partners."

Prior to his new role, Small served as president and COO of DreamWorks Studios, a position he held since 2006. In December 2015, he led the efforts to launch Amblin Partners, together with Participant, Reliance and eOne, and a consortium of banks led by JPMorgan Chase and Comerica Bank. He also oversaw the negotiation of the company’s distribution agreement with Universal Pictures, aligning Amblin Partners with the industry’s premier marketing and distribution organization. 

"I’ve been incredibly lucky to work for Steven for almost a decade, and I couldn’t be more excited to help him and Michael build our company in the years to come," Small said. "I am also very appreciative of the support we’ve received from our incredible partners at Participant, Reliance and Entertainment One."

In 2009, following DreamWorks Studios’ separation from Paramount Pictures, Small shepherded the relaunching of a newly independent studio alongside Reliance BIG Entertainment, securing $825 million in equity and debt capital. Before DreamWorks, Small spent six years at Revolution Studios, first serving as the company’s head of strategic planning and business development, then as CFO and eventually COO. Among other key projects, he led a $750 million leveraged recapitalization of Revolution Studios and its 47-picture library.

Before joining Revolution, Small spent several years with Universal Studios, beginning in the corporate development group where he played key roles in mergers and acquisitions across film, TV and music, including the acquisitions of Polygram and the USA Network.

He began his career in the Walt Disney Company Motion Picture Group, specializing in studio planning and financial analysis. 

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