Fox Filmed Entertainment today announced the promotion of several individuals who have been integrally responsible for much of that success. The appointments continue Fox’s longstanding commitment to promoting from within and they secure the next generation of the company’s production leadership.
Fox Chairmen Jim Gianopulos and Tom Rothman commented: “A central management tenet at Fox is that talented people get the chance to move up. We ourselves, and the majority of our senior staff, have benefited from this philosophy. We are gratified that these gifted executives now continue that tradition. They each fit in their new roles perfectly and we feel blessed to have such a deep bench to turn to as we build on success. We also know that they have great people underneath them who they will continue to develop into our next leaders. We proudly congratulate each of them on their well deserved promotions.”
Hutch Parker, whose Twentieth Century Fox division delivered over $2 billion dollars worldwide box office for movies released in 2006, has been elevated to Vice Chairman, Twentieth Century Fox Film Group, adding oversight of Fox Animation to his stewardship of TCF. During Parker’s tenure, TCF has had five record years in a row and produced numerous blockbusters including the hugely successful “X-Men” franchise, Night at the Museum, “Borat,” I, Robot, The Day After Tomorrow, “Dodgeball,” Alien vs. Predator, Fantastic Four, Cheaper by the Dozen, “Master and Commander” and many more.
Previously, Parker served as President of TCF, a position which he has held since 2005. Parker joined Fox in 1995 as Senior Vice President, Production. He was named President of Production in 1999.
Parker said, “Tom and Jim have built the most dynamic studio in town and we’ve got the best executive talent pool in the business. I thank them and congratulate my colleagues and look down the road and see even more growth and success.”
Emma Watts and Alex Young, who this year alone guided Night at the Museum and X-Men: The Last Stand, respectively, to over $400 million in worldwide box office each, are being named Co-Presidents of Production for TCF, reporting to Parker in his new role. Watts also oversaw production on the upcoming comedy Reno 911!: Miami, I, Robot, Behind Enemy Lines, Shallow Hal, and others while Young also oversaw production on the first two films in the “X-Men” franchise, Fantastic Four, and the upcoming Live Free or Die Hard and Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer.
Debbie Liebling, who shepherded “Borat” to nearly $250 million in worldwide box office, will become President of Production for Fox’s new label Atomic, reporting to Peter Rice. “Borat” has garnered widespread acclaim and accolades including an Oscar nomination, inclusion on over 75 critics’ top 10 ten lists, and a Golden Globe win for Sacha Baron Cohen. Ms. Liebling also oversaw the hit “Dodgeball” starring Vince Vaughn and Ben Stiller. Ms. Liebling is being promoted from her position as Executive Vice President of Production at TCF. She joined Fox in 2002 and prior to that was chief programming executive for Comedy Central’s original shows and served as co-producer for the feature film South Park: Bigger Longer & Uncut and worked as an executive at MTV and at Nickelodeon.
Vanessa Morrison, a 12-year Fox production veteran, will become President of Fox Animation. Ms. Morrison has supervised numerous CGI intensive and family oriented films, including the “Garfield,” “Dr. Dolittle,” and “Cheaper by the Dozen” series. The staff at Fox Animation, including Vice President John Cohen, will continue in place, reporting to Ms. Morrison. She will report to Parker.
In addition to Morrison replacing Chris Meledandri as President of Fox Animation and adding Parker’s oversight of the division, Fox announced two promotions at FFE’s Academy Award® winning CGI facility Blue Sky Studios. Brian Keane, currently General Manager and Chief Financial Officer, has been elevated to Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer. Bruce Anderson, currently serving as an associate producer on Fox Animation’s Horton Hears a Who, will retain his duties on the film and become General Manager of Blue Sky. “Blue Sky is a rock solid company, with an incredible creative talent pool in place, and Brian and Bruce’s new roles will continue that stability,” said Morrison.
“These are exciting changes for TCF, Fox Animation and Fox Atomic. Together with the terrific year that Fox 2000 has had under Elizabeth Gabler and Carla Hacken (led by ‘The Devil Wears Prada’) and the incredible films made at Searchlight under Claudia Lewis like ‘Notes on Scandal’ and ‘Last King of Scotland,’ the company’s production operations have never been more creative, vibrant, varied, and complete. We are looking forward to continued growth,” said Rothman and Gianopulos.