DreamWorks Animation has hired Joel Ward (pictured) to find fresh uses for the company’s properties in theme parks, live shows and other forms of location-based entertainment.
Among Ward’s duties in this new role are extending and building franchise possibilities worldwide for DreamWorks Animation properties including Shrek, Madagascar and the upcoming Kung Fu Panda, along with other films in the company’s library, both past and present. He will also endeavour to extend the relationship with the Universal Studios parks.
Ward is a former executive at Universal Studios Hollywood, where he held several positions in park operations and marketing over his 18 years, most recently serving as vice-president of brand marketing for the Hollywood park. During his tenure, he developed and managed the Halloween Horror Nights business and also led company growth in revenue driving initiatives such as the successful Annual Pass and VIP Experience programmes.
In his new capacity, Ward will directly report to Kerry Phelan, DreamWorks Animation’s head of worldwide consumer products.
“The creation of this position clearly demonstrates our deep commitment to building our franchises beyond the theatrical experience and into the world of themed entertainment,” notes Phelan. “Joel’s extensive experience and skills in this arena make him uniquely qualified to provide the leadership we need to expand our initiatives around the globe.”