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Former DC Entertainment president Diane Nelson is joining Jeffrey Katzenberg and Meg Whitman’s upstart Quibi.
Sources say Nelson — who in June exited Warner Bros., where she also held the title of president of consumer products — will be head of operations at the shortform video venture that was launched earlier this year with $1 billion in investment from all the major film studios and Alibaba. A spokesperson for Quibi declined comment.
Buzz surrounding Nelson joining Quibi began building on Tuesday when Janice Min, the former co-president and chief creative officer of The Hollywood Reporter who now oversees daily programming at Quibi, tweeted a picture of Steven Spielberg in the Quibi offices in which Nelson could be seen behind the Ready Player One helmer. Whitman retweeted the picture.
Landing Nelson is a coup for Quibi, given that she spent 22 years at Warner Bros. and left a significant footprint on the direction of the DC universe, which has expanded well beyond the core films like Justice League, Wonder Woman and the new Aquaman. Nelson’s decision to leave Warners was a blow considering that she developed a close relationship with Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling and spearheaded the management of what became one of the biggest franchises and brands in the first decade of the 21st century.
Nelson also previously served as president of Warner Premiere, the direct-to-DVD feature film and shortform digital content division, as well as executive vp global brand management for Warner Bros. Entertainment.
But she solidified her standing in Hollywood in the DC role, where she is credited with creating a cohesive vision for the characters and titles and in alignment with Warners. Nelson also revitalized the DC publishing unit, overseeing a culture change that made it talent-friendly. Her greatest achievement arguably was creating an impressive lineup of DC-branded TV shows, ranging from The CW’s hits Arrow and Supergirl to Black Lightning.
It is unclear what Nelson will be doing in her new post at Quibi, where she is set to start in January, but it signals that the deep-pocketed venture will be courting the fanboy community, with which Nelson is most familiar. The company already has signed deals with Oscar winner Guillermo del Toro, Training Day director Antoine Fuqua and producer Jason Blum.
Also, it remains a tantalizing question what Spielberg was doing in the Quibi offices.
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