Jeffrey Katzenberg Bids Farewell to DreamWorks Animation Staff as Comcast's $3.8B Deal Closes

Jeffrey Katzenberg Getty H 2016
Michael Kovac/Getty Images for Venice Family Clinic

Katzenberg will now become chairman of DreamWorks New Media, which includes digital-focused properties such as AwesomenessTV.

In a memo to DreamWorks Animation staff thanking them for 22 years of happiness, outgoing CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg bade farewell to the company he founded.

The letter was sent Monday afternoon as the deal for Comcast's $3.8 billion acquisition of the animation powerhouse closed. DWA will now be part of NBCUniversal’s Universal Filmed Entertainment Group.

Monday was the final day in which the animation studio’s shares traded on the Nasdaq stock market. Investors will receive $41 in cash for each share of DWA common stock. 

Katzenberg, whose studio scored big with hits like Shrek and Kung Fu Panda, will now become chairman of DreamWorks New Media, which includes digital-focused properties such as AwesomenessTV. As well as walking away with $400 million in cash from the deal, he also will become a consultant to Universal-parent company Comcast. 

The memo is below:

As I've said to many of you over the past week, my work is my happiness. And for 22 years, my happiness has been DreamWorks. But DreamWorks isn't the beautiful campus, the fountain, the panini maker or even the movies, TV shows and incredible entertainment we've created together.

To me, DreamWorks is all of you, the people, who have made it all happen over the years, and who will continue to do so after I drive through those gates for the last time.

But, as Jakob Jensen, a longtime colleague of ours recently reminded me (via Dr Seuss): "don't cry because it's over, be happy because it happened." I couldn't agree more, and I will happily take with me memories of working with incredibly talented individuals from around the globe, united by an amazing goal: to bring joy, wonder and laughter to the world.

So, thank you for this remarkable place of green ogres, fighting pandas, swashbuckling cats, stranded zoo animals, prehistoric cave people, six-legged aliens, flying dragons, and so much more. I may be heading out the door, but these are the real stars of DreamWorks, and they will remain. And their numbers will continue to grow, soon to be joined by electric-haired trolls and an extremely bossy baby.

Looking down the road, I can't wait to grab my popcorn and watch DWA keep raising the bar in the years ahead.

From the bottom of my heart, thank you all so very much for so very much.