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John F. Cooke Named Executive Vice President, External Affairs, J. Paul Getty Trust

December 6, 1999

Barry Munitz (left), president and chief executive officer of the J. Paul Getty Trust, with John F. Cooke, newly appointed executive vice president, external affairs. Photo: Robert Pacheco ©J. Paul Getty Trust

LOS ANGELES--Barry Munitz, president and chief executive officer of the J. Paul Getty Trust, announced today that its Board of Trustees has named John F. Cooke to serve as executive vice president, external affairs.

Cooke comes to the J. Paul Getty Trust from the Walt Disney Company, where he has been the executive vice president, corporate affairs, responsible for the company’s world-wide alliances with major corporations including General Motors, Kodak, Coca-Cola, Chevron, AT&T, American Express, MetLife, and Nestlé. He has also been responsible for a variety of governmental and community relations for Disney and has been deeply involved with their educational, cable, and new technology activities. Previously, Cooke served as president of the Disney Channel during one of its dramatic building phases.

In his new post at the J. Paul Getty Trust, where he will report directly to the president, Cooke will have general responsibility for establishing and maintaining partnerships and other relationships between the Getty and a variety of cultural and corporate institutions and entities locally, nationally, and around the world. He will begin this assignment after he has completed his Disney responsibilities.

Mr. Cooke has served on the Getty’s Board of Trustees for more than four years, but with this move to the management group, he will be relinquishing that position. Dr. Munitz, commenting on the rare nature of that transition, said, "As we began our search for someone to accept this new and extraordinarily important responsibility, it gradually became clear that our strongest candidate was sitting at the Board table. John, with his marvelous experience and extensive relationships, will be a crucial leader as we reach out to strengthen our ties with cultural and educational organizations and enterprises in California, the rest of the United States, and internationally. I am also delighted to have John join our leadership team as we move to the next phase of our outreach to important artistic and corporate constituencies and audiences. Given his experience as a trustee, he knows our institution well; his recent responsibilities with two major Los Angeles-based corporations fit closely to our current plans and priorities."

Prior to Cooke’s 15 years of executive experience at the Walt Disney Company, he served for more than a decade in various capacities at the Times Mirror Company, where he was executive vice president of Times Mirror Cable Television and president of Times Mirror Satellite Programming, where he was engaged with innovative telecommunications strategies. At both companies Cooke built new relationships, addressed the communications implications of new technology developments, and helped shape a variety of educational commitments.

Reflecting the same interests in his extracurricular activities, Cooke is a member of the Board of Trustees of Johns Hopkins University, the Thomas Jefferson Memorial Foundation, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the American Film Institute, the Skirball Cultural Center, and the Board of Overseers at the Huntington Library. Cooke serves on the board of the Pacific Council on International Policy and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. In addition, he served on the United States Advisory Council on the National Information Infrastructure and was co-chair of its mega-project on privacy, security, and intellectual property.

Michael Eisner, chairman and chief executive officer of the Walt Disney Company, said of Cooke’s departure, "John is a talented executive who understands how to build strong and lasting relationships; he is perfectly suited for his new role at the Getty, and we congratulate them for this choice. Although we hate to lose him under any circumstances, we understand fully that his commitment to education and to the arts makes this a most natural next chapter for his career, and it is with great pride and the strongest of good wishes that we help him embark on this new venture." Vice Chairman Sandy Litvack, commenting on Mr. Cooke’s Disney service, said, "John was a conscientious and thoughtful colleague who represented Disney with grace. We could not have had a better ambassador and spokesperson for our interests."

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About the Getty:

The J. Paul Getty Trust is an international cultural and philanthropic institution devoted to the visual arts that features the Getty Conservation Institute, the Getty Foundation, the J. Paul Getty Museum, and the Getty Research Institute. The J. Paul Getty Trust and Getty programs serve a varied audience from two locations: the Getty Center in Los Angeles and the Getty Villa in Malibu.

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