Walt Disney Company's deal to purchase 21st Century Fox is merely months away from becoming official, provided there are no significant setbacks in the approval process. With the merger of the two companies on the horizon, Disney has begun appointing some of Fox's current executives to new positions, which will take effect when everything is completed.
After first appointing TV executives like Dana Walden and John Landgraf, Disney is now moving on to the film side of the equation. In a press release on Thursday, the company announced the first wave of major executives who were being brought over from Fox.
“We’re pleased that these talented executives will be joining our incredible team of studio leaders once the acquisition of 21st Century Fox is completed,” said Robert A. Iger, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, The Walt Disney Company. “Under Alan Horn’s leadership, Disney, Pixar, Marvel and Lucasfilm have reached unprecedented levels of creative and box-office success, and adding Fox’s impressive film brands and franchises to our studio will allow us to create even more appealing high-quality entertainment to delight audiences.”
“The addition of these respected film groups under the umbrella of The Walt Disney Studios will create endless possibilities as we continue to deliver first-rate motion pictures to audiences around the world,” said Mr. Horn, Chairman, The Walt Disney Studios. “This is an experienced group of executives, and Alan Bergman and I look forward to welcoming them to our leadership ranks upon completion of the acquisition.”
The executives reporting directly to Mr. Horn will be:
- Emma Watts, Vice Chairman, Twentieth Century Fox Film and President, Production, Twentieth Century Fox
- Nancy Utley and Stephen Gilula, Fox Searchlight Pictures
- Elizabeth Gabler, President of Production, Fox 2000
The executives reporting to Mr. Horn and Ms. Watts will be:
- Andrea Miloro and Robert Bland, Co-Presidents, Fox Animation
- Vanessa Morrison, President, Fox Family
All of these executives will be joining Horn's current team, which includes studio heads like Lucasfilm's Kathleen Kennedy and Marvel's Kevin Feige.
The merger between Disney and Fox could be completed as early as January 2019, though neither company has released any sort of official timetable.