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View Full Version : If Katzenberg Took Over...



Cooie
08-09-2002, 09:38 AM
Merlinjones mentioned something about this in the "Oh Man" thread, but seeing as it was listed on Page Six, I was skeptical. But now I've seen confirmation from the NY Times among others who say:

"Mr. Eisner declined to comment about who might succeed him. But several names have been the subject of rumors in Hollywood lately, including Viacom's president, Mel Karmazin; Howard Stringer, chief executive of the Sony Corporation of America; and, more recently, Jeffrey Katzenberg, who used to work at Disney and whose tenure ended in a bitter lawsuit. None of the men returned calls seeking comment. According to two board members, the board is not looking to replace Mr. Eisner."

So what would that mean for the company and DLR if he took over? I wasn't as fluent in Disney when Katzenberg was around, so all I know of him was he was good with the animation division (or so I've heard.) Is he really the man to turn things around?

JeffG
08-09-2002, 10:26 AM
He definitely would be pretty low on my list of preferences for people to take over the company. While his tenure as head of Disney Studios did include the major comeback of Feature Animation, he also built a reputation for placing quantity and low cost way over quality with the rest of the film division. It was during this time that Touchstone and Hollywood Pictures became synonymous with cheap, mass-produced projects such as the Ernest movies or Pauly Shore's various projects. He made it pretty publicly known that this method of filmmaking was his preference, which is probably why Geffen and Spielberg have kept him pretty firmly centered on animation at Dreamworks.

Considering his history, it isn't surprising that Katzenberg's name is coming up as a possible replacement should Eisner be fired, but I think it is very unlikely he will ever be seriously considered.

-Jeff

Frees
08-09-2002, 10:32 AM
There's so much bad blood between Katzenberg and Disney, even with Eisner gone, I would be shocked if he came back.

Pleasantly shocked, you ask? I don't know. Can't say I've liked anything he's done in Dreamworks...

merlinjones
08-09-2002, 10:38 AM
>>So what would that mean for the company and DLR if he took over? I wasn't as fluent in Disney when
Katzenberg was around, so all I know of him was he was good with the animation division (or so I've
heard.) Is he really the man to turn things around?<<

IMHO - - Since Jeffrey was trained in management style by Eisner and Diller, he suffers from some of the same dismissive attitudes and, like them, encourages a course corporate culture. His gut instincts are very good with what the public will respond to, but his range of taste is not broad. He needs to see the results, rather than to visualize the outcome, which results in some costly trial-and-error. However, unlike Eisner in his current incarnation, Jeffrey is far more appreciative of talent and seems to have a keener interest in quality and attention to detail (though within his own taste level). He has experienced a long learning curve in the very exotic and difficult businesses that are at Disney's core (animation in particular, but he was in on the theme park expansions too). Unlike others, he at least understands what Disney's mission statement should be, and has seen how it can work at its best - - though I might differ with the thesis. In short, I would much rather see the company in his hands than Eisner's at this point in time. He is still in touch.

I think it's a case of Spacely VS. Cogswell - - but Cogswell has gone Norma Desmond.

I think what the company really needs an entirely different approach based in the creative side (like a George Lucas type), rather than a rehash of the 80's. But if the only alternatives are corporate financial types from other conglomerates, Jeffrey is far better suited to the job and can hit the ground running.

Remember Ovitz? Some outsiders may not get it at all...

hefferdude
08-09-2002, 10:47 AM
If Mr. KB comes back, we want our $270 million returned!:mad:

Don't even start with Ovitz....

Sailor Butterfly
08-09-2002, 04:10 PM
If Katzenberg took over, he'd buy Universal Studios and move DCA to Coney Island.

HTHBellcaptain
08-09-2002, 04:29 PM
Originally posted by Cooie
So what would that mean for the company and DLR if he took over? I wasn't as fluent in Disney when Katzenberg was around, so all I know of him was he was good with the animation division (or so I've heard.) Is he really the man to turn things around?

I think the reason Katzenberg and Eisner didn't get along was because they are so much alike. They are both huge egotists with unhealthy ties to Corporate America style of management. I think it's time to move out of the 80's. Budget tricks only work for so long, eventually you have to get back to focussing on story and the quality of the product.

Please don't get me wrong, I do think that Katzenberg has made some good films, but I don't think he would be able to sustain his success over the long haul.