The next chief executive of
Departing Turner Broadcasting executive Michael Wright will join the film studio at the beginning of next year. He will succeed CEO and Co-Chairman Stacey Snider, who is expected to join the
Wright is currently the head of programming for the cable channels
The appointment brings Wright to a company that has lately struggled to deliver big hits at the box office.
DreamWorks, which is a separate entity from publicly traded DreamWorks Animation SKG, has delivered successes such as Oscar-winners
"It looks like it hasn't been easy for them," said Hal Vogel, an entertainment industry analyst. "They've been challenged by the market, and they probably haven't done as well as they would have hoped."
"The Fifth Estate," which starred
The 2014 slate has been mixed. This summer's "The Hundred-Foot Journey," starring
For its new leadership in the movie business, Spielberg is looking to an executive he's worked with before for television projects.
Wright and Spielberg have worked together on multiple TV shows for Turner networks, including the 2005 mini series "Into the West," the postapocalyptic drama
"When Steven Spielberg asks, 'Would you like to come work with me?,' you just say yes and then 'Thank you' right after that," Wright said. "We have a relationship that goes back 12 to 13 years, and it's been pretty magical from the beginning. We have a pretty marvelous and rare creative compatibility."
Spielberg's TV company, Amblin Television, will remain a separate entity, DreamWorks said.
The current manifestation of DreamWorks launched in 2009 with a $325-million investment from the Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group, an Indian conglomerate.
DreamWorks Studios was formed in 1994 by Spielberg, current DreamWorks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg and music mogul David Geffen. The animation division spun off in 2004, and Geffen exited in 2008.
"I have had the pleasure of working alongside Michael for many years and have come to know him as a talented executive whose creative vision, leadership and passion are a perfect fit for our company," Spielberg said in a statement.
Spielberg's upcoming movies with DreamWorks include an as-yet-untitled Cold War thriller and an adaptation of the classic Roald Dahl children's book "The BFG."
Wright's move also comes amid changes at Turner, which is owned by
In his decade-plus career at Turner, Wright helped put TNT and TBS on the map with such original dramas as "The Closer," "Falling Skies" and
"I had a great time in my television life," Wright said. "At a certain point, it's the right time to hand it [Turner] off to someone else and let them bring their voice and enthusiasm to the job."