Magazine article Screen International

Walt Disney Studios Announces Senior Hierarchy after Fox Executive Cull

Magazine article Screen International

Walt Disney Studios Announces Senior Hierarchy after Fox Executive Cull

Article excerpt

Disney film chief Alan Horn told Fox staffers on Thursday morning to expect ‘quite a bit of change’.

After a ruthless first wave of senior Fox executive redundancies on Thursday (March 21), Walt Disney Studios released a sanitised announcement detailing its senior leadership team following the acquisition of the entertainment assets of 21st Century Fox earlier this week.

Disney Studios chairman Alan Horn sent a note to the circa 3,000 Fox staff on Thursday telling them to expect ”quite a bit of change” before news of the first Fox senior executive lay-offs leaked out. Among Thursday’s more dramatic headlines, Fox International theatrical distribution president Andrew Cripps and Fox domestic distribution president Chris Aronson are exiting, and Fox 2000 will be closed after the current cycle of films are released.

21st Century Fox’s film studios – including Twentieth Century Fox, Fox Family, Fox Searchlight Pictures, Fox 2000, and Blue Sky Studios – are joining Walt Disney Animation Studios, Disney (live action), Pixar Animation Studios, Marvel Studios, Lucasfilm, Disney Music Group, and Disney Theatrical Group under The Walt Disney Studios umbrella, and the leadership of Horn, working closely with studio president Alan Bergman.

Disney’s production studios will create content for both theatrical release and streaming platform Disney+, set to launch towards the end of this year. Films from the various Fox studios will continue to be released under their existing labels. Fox Family will move under the purview of Twentieth Century Fox, and as reported earlier on Thursday, Fox 2000 will cease production after the release of its current slate. It is unclear what will happen to Fox 2000 president of production Elizabeth Gabler after that.

Reporting to Disney film chief Horn are:

Previously announced Twentieth Century Fox chief, vice-chairman of Twentieth Century Fox Film, and president of production at Twentieth Century Fox, Emma Watts.

Reporting to Watts will be Fox Family president Vanessa Morrison. Fox Searchlight Pictures will continue to be led by chairmen Nancy Utley and Stephen Gilula. Fox Animation including Blue Sky Studios will continue to be led by co-presidents Andrea Miloro and Robert Baird. …

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