DreamWorks Animation Names Fazal Merchant CFO

8:55 AM PST 08/18/2014 by Pamela McClintock
Fazal Merchant

Merchant previously served as senior vp and chief financial officer DirecTV Latin America

Jeffrey Katzenberg's DreamWorks Animation has tapped former DirecTV executive Fazal Merchant to serve as its new CFO following Lew Coleman's transition to the role of vice chairman at the animation studio.

Merchant joins DWA Sept. 15. At DirecTV, he was a senior vp and chief financial officer DirecTV Latin America.

"As we transition and augment our executive leadership team to best fit the needs of the company, I'm thrilled to welcome Fazal into the role of CFO," Coleman said in a statement. "He brings with him not only passion for our business, but also experience drawn from senior leadership roles across multiple industries, which will be an incredible asset as we continue to grow and diversify."

Merchant's hire comes nearly a month after former Disney executive Mark Zoradi was named COO of DWA. At the same time, Ann Daly, who has served as COO since 2004, was being promoted to president, while Coleman was upped to vice chairman.

The company, facing diminished returns from its feature film business, explained its executive changes as part of its strategy to diversify beyond its core business by building up its television division, embarking on new initiatives in its location-based and retail entertainment divisions, creating a new in-house publishing division and growing its consumer products and online businesses.

Prior to joining DirecTV in July 2012, Merchant was a managing director of investment banking at Barclays Capital. He also spent nearly a decade at the Ford Motor Co.

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