David Geffen no longer part of DWA

CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg announces change

David Geffen has stepped down from the board of directors of DreamWorks Animation, CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg said Tuesday while announcing the company's strong quarterly earnings.

Katzenberg declined to say Tuesday whether the company will replace Geffen with another director. With his departure effective Tuesday, there are 11 DWA directors.

Geffen co-founded DreamWorks Studios along with Katzenberg and Steven Spielberg 14 years ago and has been a DWA director since its inception.

"David will remain the guardian angel of DreamWorks Animation," Katzenberg said during a conference call with Wall Street analysts.

Meanwhile, DWA posted net income of $37.4 million in the third quarter, down from $47 million a year ago on the strength of "Shrek the Third." Revenue fell 6% to $151.5 million.

The results topped analysts' expectations. DWA shares rose 7% during Tuesday's powerful rally and were unchanged after hours.

"Kung Fu Panda" got the credit for DWA's out-performance. The Jack Black-voiced film has grossed more than $630 million worldwide and its DVD, including Blu-ray, release is set for Nov. 9.

Mostly because of international boxoffice, "Panda" was responsible for $63.3 million of DWA's third-quarter revenue. "Shrek the Third" contributed $32.5 million mostly via international pay TV, and the film reached 20.5 million DVDs shipped worldwide.

"Bee Movie," considered a disappointment in some circles, contributed $27.3 million to the quarter's revenue primarily because of domestic pay TV.

Also delivering for the studio during the quarter were "Flushed Away" ($2.6 million), "Over the Hedge" ($2.4 million) and library and other revenue ($23.4 million).

Katzenberg said the "Panda" DVD will be somewhat more special than your average home video, mostly because of a special feature that tells the back story of the film's main characters.

He also said he and others were in China a week ago and were treated as "heroes" because of "Panda," which he called "a love letter to China."

Later, Katzenberg told The Hollywood Reporter that he'd like more Asian-themed films in the future because of the international appeal of "Panda."

Asked by an analyst whether Geffen's board departure would cause him to sell shares, executives noted that Geffen and Katzenberg have agreed to hold at least 50% of DWA's voting shares.

As of Tuesday, Geffen held 5.75% of the company's shares and 22.16% of the voting rights and Katzenberg held about 9% of the shares and 47% of voting rights.

Spielberg, who is not a DWA board member, holds about 6.7% of the stock and 2.4% of the voting rights.
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