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June 15, 2015

Ex-Movie Executive Abandoned Hollywood for Cambodian Charity

The Wall Street Journal profiles Scott Neeson, a high-powered movie executive who quit Hollywood to focus on philanthropy supporting Cambodia families.

A former leader of 20th Century Fox International and Sony Pictures, Mr. Neeson now spends most of his time in Phnom Penh running the Cambodian Children's Fund, which he founded in 2004, a year after his first visit to the country.

A native Scot who grew up in Australia and got his start in the film industry as a projectionist, Mr. Neeson was not involved in the Los Angeles philanthropy scene but tells the Journal he was moved to give up his $1 million-a-year job by seeing hundreds of Cambodian kids living and working on a massive garbage dump. "You sort of come face-to-face with your own values at some point, where you can walk away or do something about it," he said. His charity spent $8.8 million last year on health care, education, and other programs serving about 2,400 children.