Jeffrey Katzenberg’s billion-dollar Quibi fail: Why Biden still wants him
We all remember the short life of Quibi. While some people genuinely enjoyed its services, many merely poked fun at its bizarre premise and its quick demise. But, despite its failure, Quibi’s CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg might be up for a spot in the U.S. government. Here’s everything we know.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Jeffrey Katzenberg & Bob Iger, Disney’s Executive Chairman, are in talks for ambassadorship in Joe Biden’s planned administration.
While it hasn’t yet been confirmed specifically which position Jeffrey Katzenberg is being considered for, it’s rumored Iger will be appointed Biden’s ambassador to China or the UK.
Jeffrey Katzenberg, like Iger, has a pretty impressive resume. He was the president of motion pictures at Paramount from 1974-1984, the chair of Walt Disney Studios from 1984-1994, a co-founder of DreamWorks and its chairman from 1994-2004, and the CEO of DreamWorks Animation from 2004-2017.
Despite these impressive accomplishments, however, with his recent Quibi endeavors, the news of his potential political role has come as a surprise to many. Because of Iger’s new potential role, many are theorizing that Jeffrey Katzenberg might be considered for an ambassador role, too.
Also being considered for an ambassador position is producer Matt Walden, who is a friend of Kamala Harris’s husband, Doug Emhoff. In addition, Biden has chosen a former U.S. ambassador to the U.N., Susan Rice, who also served on Netflix’s board of directors, to head the White House Domestic Policy Council.
Why Jeffrey Katzenberg?
Though a known association between Jeffrey Katzenberg & Joe Biden might seem unlikely, the former supported Biden’s 2020 election campaign by donating to the Biden Victory Fund.
Though Jeffrey Katzenberg has yet to comment on the potential position, Bob Iger seems like he’s considering the offer, especially after vocally being not the biggest fan of Trump. “Giving back in some fashion,” he said during an interview with the Carlyle Group’s David Rubenstein for Bloomberg TV, “serving our country in some fashion – is certainly something that I would consider seriously.”
He continued: “But a lot of it would depend on what it is, what the opportunity is, and whether I thought it would be something that I would be both stimulated by and be good at.”
Is he qualified?
According to Business Wire, Jeffrey Katzenberg is a big investor, and with this & his past CEO ventures, he has a long history of networking & raising funds. Going from the mailroom at Paramount Pictures to a CEO with a net worth of $900 million, Katzenberg credits Paramount chair Barry Diller for “investing in him”, making Katzenberg Diller’s assistant and launching his career growth.
Jeffrey Katzenberg has raised $1 billion in capital for WndrCo, a consumer technology holding company. The company has also invested in other lucrative companies, such as “The Infatuation,” a restaurant recommendation service, and “MixCloud,” an audio streaming platform that’s user-generated. In October TechCrunch reported that WndrCo invested in Twingate, which offers secure access to private data.
What does an ambassador do?
An ambassador, also known as a diplomat, is, simply put, the representative of the U.S. government, either in the U.S. or in another country. From their post, they are spokespeople for international relations, such as cultural relationships, military involvement, and trade.
Ambassadors also help travelers from their country. Ever lost your passport in a foreign country? Well, an ambassador would be the one to help you. An ambassador might also help refugees in dangerous situations and explain foreign policy.
As far as we know, Iger and Katzenberg don’t have experience that is super specific to an ambassador’s job description, could their high status & understanding of relationships have landed them the job, or their big checkbooks? Let us know what you think about Katzenberg & Iger’s potential appointments as ambassadors in the comments below.