The Walt Disney Studios has officially unveiled its senior leadership team now that Disney’s $71.3 billion acquisition of 21st Century Fox’s film and TV assets is closed. It comes at the end of a long day at 20th Century Fox Film, where several big names were laid off as the merger begins to take its form.
The Walt Disney Studios umbrella will be led by chairman Alan Horn and president Alan Bergman, who have been making the rounds to finalize their lineups this week.
“At the core of The Walt Disney Studios is the world-class content we produce – from unforgettable experiences for the screen and stage, to stories and characters that find their way into the hearts and homes of fans everywhere,” Horn said in the release Thursday which did not mention today’s layoffs. “Bringing together the legacies, talent, and capabilities of Disney and Fox greatly expands our ability to create a wide range of transportive storytelling experiences for audiences the world over, and we are thrilled to get to work together.”
Wednesday’s pink slips included several high-level, longtime Fox execs, a list that on the film side includes 20th Century Fox domestic distribution president Chris Aronson; international distribution head Andrew Cripps; consumer products chief Jim Fielding; EVP Corporate Communications Dan Berger; Heather Phillips, EVP and head of domestic publicity; Mike Dunn, president of product strategy and consumer business development; Bob Cohen, EVP Legal Affairs and EVP Fox Stage Productions; and Michelle Marks, SVP Media Promotions.
Going forward, Disney this evening revealed its film exec structure that had no real surprises after Deadline broke earlier in the day that Fox 2000, originally slated to move over post-merger, will finish out its current slate then be shuttered. Fox’s remaining studios – 20th Century Fox, Fox Family (now moving under the purview of 20th), Fox Searchlight Pictures and Blue Sky Studios have now joined former rivals Walt Disney Animation Studios, Disney (live action), Pixar Animation Studios, Marvel Studios, Lucasfilm, Disney Music Group and Disney Theatrical Group.
The units now under one umbrella will create content for theatrical and the upcoming Disney+ streaming platforms.
The studio execs, reporting to Horn:
· Twentieth Century Fox will continue to be led by Vice Chairman, Twentieth Century Fox Film, and President, Production, Twentieth Century Fox, Emma Watts.
· Fox Family will continue to be led by President Vanessa Morrison, reporting directly to Watts.
· Fox Searchlight Pictures will continue to be led by Chairmen Nancy Utley and Stephen Gilula.
· Fox 2000 will continue to be led by President of Production Elizabeth Gabler, overseeing the completion of the current slate.
· Fox Animation (including Blue Sky Studios) will continue to be led by Co-Presidents Andrea Miloro and Robert Baird.
· Walt Disney Animation Studios will continue to be led by Chief Creative Officer Jennifer Lee.
· Walt Disney Studios Motion Picture Production (Disney live action) will continue to be led by President Sean Bailey.
· Pixar Animation Studios will continue to be led by Chief Creative Officer Pete Docter.
· Marvel Studios will continue to be led by President Kevin Feige and Co-President Louis D’Esposito.
· Lucasfilm will continue to be led by President Kathleen Kennedy.
· Disney Music Group will continue to be led by President Ken Bunt.
· Disney Theatrical Group will continue to be led by President & Producer Thomas Schumacher.
· Walt Disney Studios Communications will be led by Senior Vice President Paul Roeder.
· Walt Disney Studios Human Resources will be led by Senior Vice President Carolyn Wilson.
Here are the business team execs, reporting to Bergman:
· Walt Disney Studios Marketing will be led by President Asad Ayaz.
· Walt Disney Studios Distribution, Franchise Management, and Business & Audience Insights will be led by President Cathleen Taff.
· Walt Disney Studios Operations will be led by President Jeff Miller.
· Walt Disney Studios Business Affairs will be led by Executive Vice President Bernardine Brandis.
· Steve Bardwil will lead Walt Disney Studios Legal Affairs as Chief Counsel.
· Paul Shurgot will lead Walt Disney Studios Finance as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer.
· Jamie Voris will lead Walt Disney Studios Technology as Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer.
· Walt Disney Studios Labor Relations will be led by Senior Vice President Robert Johnson.
· Also continuing to report to Bergman are Walt Disney Animation Studios President Andrew Millstein and Pixar Animation Studios President Jim Morris.