Malibu's Wealthy: Jeffrey Katzenberg

Jeffrey Katzenberg
Jeffrey Katzenberg. Photo: Courtesy DreamWorks LLC.

Malibu's Wealthy: Jeffrey Katzenberg

Jeffrey Katzenberg is a partner with Steven Spielberg and David Geffen, the "K" in the company they launched in 1994: DreamWorks SKG. He has a net worth estimated at $860 million by Forbes in 2005.

Katzenberg was a talent agent in New York when he was hired as the personal assistant to Barry Diller, at that time an executive at ABC. Diller became Chairman of Paramount Pictures and Katzenberg assumed roles that led him to the television division and the task of reviving Star Trek. With Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979) and Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981), Katzenberg had his first big hits, leading to becoming President of motion picture and TV production under Chief Operating Officer Michael Eisner, 19821984.

When Eisner joined Disney as CEO in 1984, Katzenberg was recruited, taking over the motion picture and animation divisions at the age of 34. Katzenberg reversed Disney's decline with award winning and financially successful releases including Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988), The Little Mermaid (1989), Beauty and the Beast (1991), Aladdin (1992), and The Lion King (1994).

After ten years at Disney, during which time revenues rose six-fold to $8.5 billion, Eisner and Katzenberg fell out. The unexpected 1994 death of Frank Wells opened the Disney presidency for Katzenberg, but Eisner refused to promote him to the top job. Katzenberg resigned, but his successful lawsuit against Disney netted him hundreds of millions of dollars and his breach with Eisner opened the way to join in the 1994 founding of DreamWorks SKG. As CEO of DreamWorks Animation, Inc. Katzenberg has continued to produce winners including the incredibly popular Shrek (2001) and the 2005 hit Madagascar. He also negotiated the key DreamWorks agreements with HBO, ABC and Microsoft that are fundamental to the success of the venture.

Jeffrey Katzenberg and wife Marilyn have a home on Carbon Beach in Malibu near the home of partner David Geffen. As major Democratic fund raisers and supporters they have dined at the White House with Pres. Clinton and Tony Blair.

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