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2 items from 2007

Laika lines exec ranks for future

12 September 2007 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

Animation studio Laika on Tuesday named Alan Keith the studio's new CFO/ vp business operations and promoted its head of animation, Travis Knight, to vp animation.

Keith, a former Lucasfilm and Hanna-Barbera executive with more than 20 years of finance experience in the movie studio setting, will head the studio's business operations as it expands its roster of animated feature and short films, TV production and music videos.

CEO Dale Wahl said Keith's diverse skills set is critical to the company during its expansion and lauded him as someone who "will make a significant contribution to Laika's advancement in the animation and commercial production businesses."

For his part, Knight will continue to serve as a lead editor on the studio's first stop-motion 3-D animated film Coraline, and play a key role in content development while expanding his involvement in the company's overall business operations.

"His appointment as vp is a logical move for the studio and allows us to continue to benefit from his considerable creative talent and valued leadership skills," said Wahl. »

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Laika taps Rabe vp, top marketer

30 May 2007 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

Laika has named Cynthia Barton Rabe vp and chief marketing officer of its entertainment business.

Laika Entertainment, which produces animated features, is working on Coraline, a stop-motion film produced in stereoscopic 3-D. Helmed by Henry Selick, it is scheduled for a 2008 release by Focus Features.

Rabe is a 20-year marketing executive, consultant and author of "The Innovation Killer: How What We Know Limits What We Can Imagine and What Smart Companies Are Doing About It."

"I am a person who is very interested in and motivated by innovation," Rabe said. Calling Laika a "perfect storm" for innovation, she cited the company's creative energy, the changing nature of animation and the company's desire to connect with audiences as the key factors.

"Cindy brings a breadth and depth of consumer marketing experience to Laika Entertainment which will be highly valuable in developing the innovative strategies we see as critical to our success," Laika CEO and president Dale Wahl said.

The company's planned animation campus is scheduled to open in 2009. »

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