Jeffrey Katzenberg will be honored as the Cannes Lions Media Person of the Year 2019. Katzenberg will be presented with the award at an evening awards ceremony on Wednesday, June 19, during the annual Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity.
Katzenberg is the founder and chairman of the board of Quibi, a mobile-first media platform incubated at WndrCo. He is also the co-founder and managing partner of WndrCo, a holding company that invests in, acquires, develops and operates consumer technology businesses.
Philip Thomas, chairman, Cannes Lions, said, “Jeffrey Katzenberg encapsulates everything the Media Person of the Year award represents. His unbounding creative leadership and vision has led to the transformation and ground-breaking success of high-profile businesses across the entertainment, media and technology landscape. Katzenberg is a great friend of the Festival, who has brought his insight and inspiration to our stages so successfully in recent years. It’s a huge honor to present him with this prestigious award.”
Katzenberg commented, “Over my career I have had the honor of working in many different forms of storytelling, from film to television to the Broadway stage, but the journey we are on today with Quibi is the most exciting one yet, as we embark on a new form of storytelling. By bringing together the very best of Hollywood and Silicon Valley, we hope to usher in the era of mobile-first entertainment. On behalf of everyone at Quibi, we’re very thankful to Cannes Lions for this honor.”
Katzenberg’s career spans over 40 years. After serving as president of production at Paramount Studios, he became chairman of the Walt Disney Studios, overseeing a renaissance of animation and helping to usher the studio’s transition to digital production, releasing top-grossing animated classics such as The Little Mermaid and The Lion King. In 1994, he co-founded DreamWorks SKG. A decade later, DreamWorks Animation became a publicly traded company, with Katzenberg serving as CEO. Under Katzenberg’s leadership, DreamWorks Animation moved into all-CG production, becoming the largest animation studio in the world, releasing 32 animated feature films and 24 television series, including: Kung Fu Panda and Madagascar. In 2013, DreamWorks made a major expansion into online media with its acquisition of AwesomenessTV. In 2016, DreamWorks Animation was acquired by Comcast Corporation.
Katzenberg will also be speaking on the Cannes Lions stage this year, in the MediaLink-hosted session Raising the Bar on the Small Screen. Speaking alongside MediaLink’s chairman and CEO, Michael Kassan, Katzenberg and Meg Whitman, CEO of Quibi, will draw on their combined leadership experience at Dreamworks, Disney, eBay and HP to discuss how they are combining the best of Hollywood and Silicon Valley to create the future of entertainment.
The Cannes Lions Festival takes place from June 17–21.