Lucasfilm Ltd., the entertainment/high-technology company founded by "Star Wars" creator George Lucas, has drawn a new president and chief operating officer from the financial corridors of Silicon Valley.
R. Douglas Norby will arrive Feb. 1 at the San Rafael, Calif.-based film company to fill a spot that has been vacant for more than a year, said Sidney Ganis, senior vice president for marketing and publicity at Lucasfilm. Norby will be overseeing company operations in tandem with Chairman and Chief Executive Lucas, who remains "smack in the middle" of both creative and day-to-day operations, Ganis said. Norby, who is vacationing between jobs, was not available for comment Tuesday.
The 49-year-old Norby most recently was senior vice president and chief financial officer at Syntex Corp., a Palo Alto-based high-tech drug research firm. He is one of the original management team of Itel Corp., a once high-flying computer leasing firm that collapsed in 1981. Between posts at Itel--he left in 1973 and returned for two years as senior vice president in 1977--Norby was vice president-finance for Fairchild Camera & Instrument Corp. of Mountain View, Calif., a maker of semiconductors and other high-tech components.
"Although (the motion picture business) is still film and sprocket holes run through a projector, the techniques and management of those techniques have become very, very advanced in the last few years," Ganis said. "There is a lot about our company that could be put into the category of high tech, even though we're still film producers, so between the two things, Norby fits very well."
For the last three years, Norby has also served on Lucas' four-member board of advisers, made up of business leaders in the Bay Area, Ganis said.
Lucasfilm's operations include film production and distribution, licensing and computer hardware and software. Divisions of the 500-employee company include Industrial Light & Magic (special effects) and Sprockets Systems Inc. (post-production work).