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How I Got Here: Marc Greenberg ’93

Feb 21, 2014
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What I do: Vice president of finance and strategy for Pixar Animation Studios. Is responsible for accounting functions; financial scheduling and resource planning for the films; oversight of Renderman, Pixar’s software subsidiary; and finance and operations for an ancillary studio in Vancouver that produces short films. Provides guidance on long-term strategy, such as where to make technology investments, how many projects to have in development and how projects are staffed.

Education: Accounting. Gave campus tours; was very involved in fraternity and student leadership activities, including Omicron Delta Kappa.

1993: Joined Ernst & Young’s Baltimore office in auditing, working with various industries, including tech companies in the D.C. corridor.

Big break: The Ernst & Young residency program was recruiting for the San Francisco Bay Area. Went to the Walnut Creek, Calif., office. “I was attracted to the entrepreneurial software and technology firms.”

1999: Joined software startup Saba Software as controller.

2002: Joined Pixar. “If you’re going to work in finance, you ought to work for an interesting company. I was initially attracted to the technology aspect but now I really love the media and entertainment aspect of the company.”

Big challenge: Finding the balance between creative, operational and financial needs. “We’re a director-driven studio. Finance does not drive the ship, but we do want people to make rational, data-driven decisions. Sometimes we have to move a release date or re-do a scene. As a finance person, you know how expensive that is and how many people it will involve. But for Pixar, quality is our best business model, so you may have to explain why it is necessary for the good of the company and the film to incur additional expenses.”

Big rewards: “I love the team and the products. People are incredibly passionate about making great films; it’s an exciting place to be. The environment is nurturing, and it’s like a family.”

Big thrill: “Sitting in the audience and watching people react to our films.”

What I’m proud of: Chairing the board of We Care Services for Children. The organization provides services for children with developmental delays, mental health issues and autism. Greenberg’s wife was an occupational therapist there, and the whole family participates in philanthropy. “It’s an important network of relationships for families of kids with disabilities. There’s support and everyone is sympathetic.”

Big tip: “Listening is one of the most important things you can do as a leader. There are people around you who are excellent at their jobs and they provide key, on-the-ground counsel. Listen to them.”

 

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