Amblin Partners is putting its executive house in order. Only a day after extending CEO Michael Wright’s contract, the company has promoted Jeff Small to President and Co-CEO. He previously held the President/COO title.
Small has been with the company either in DreamWorks or the newly formed Amblin for the past nine years. He helped in the creation of Amblin Partners this past December and helped in negotiations in leaving Disney and heading back over to Universal Pictures. In fact, the company credits him with “leading” the launch Amblin Partners, together with Participant Media, Reliance and Entertainment One, and a consortium of banks led by JPMorgan Chase and Comerica. He also oversaw the negotiations of the company’s distribution agreement with Universal Pictures.
He will continue working alongside Wright on business strategy and also will continue to oversee company operations such as Finance, Business and Legal Affairs, Physical Production, Human Resources, Communications and Administration. He also will manage the company’s relationships with its financial and distribution partners.
His promotion “reflects what he has done for us in both challenging and gratifying times over the last ten years, never losing sight of our vision for Amblin Partners,” said AP Chairman Steven Spielberg in making the announcement. No doubt, he and Spielberg have been through a lot together.
Small served as President and COO of DreamWorks Studios since 2006. In 2009, following DreamWorks Studios’ separation from Paramount Pictures, Small shepherded the re-launching of a newly independent studio alongside Reliance BIG Entertainment, securing $825 million in equity and debt capital.
Small also spent six years at Revolution Studios, first serving as the company’s head of Strategic Planning and Business Development, then as CFO and eventually, COO. Among other key projects, he led a $750 million leveraged recapitalization of Revolution Studios and its 47-picture library.
Before joining Revolution, Small spent several years with Universal Studios beginning in the Corporate Development group where he played key roles in mergers and acquisitions across film, television, and music areas, including the acquisitions of Polygram and the USA Network.
He began his career in the Walt Disney Company Motion Picture Group, specializing in studio planning and financial analysis.