Emma Watts

More Fox execs join Disney ahead of acquisition

The House of Mouse is adding Emma Watts (pictured), Nancy Utley, Stephen Gilula and Elizabeth Gable to its entertainment management team.
October 19, 2018

Ahead of its pending acquisition of 21st Century Fox, Disney has announced the addition of several Fox executives to its entertainment management team. 

Emma Watts (pictured) will join the House of Mouse with her title as vice chairman of Twentieth Century Fox Film and president of production for Twentieth Century Fox. Nancy Utley and Stephen Gilula, meanwhile, will continue to serve as chairmen of Fox Searchlight Pictures as part of Disney’s entertainment management team. Fox 2000 president Elizabeth Gabler will also make the move to Disney as the president of production for Fox 2000.

Watts, Utley, Gilula and Gabler will report to Alan Horn, chairman of The Walt Disney Studios. Additionally, co-presidents of Fox Animation Andrea Miloro and Robert Baird and president of Fox Family Vanessa Morrison will join Disney’s entertainment management team and report to Horn and Watts.

The appointments are conditional upon the closing of the acquisition.

In July, Disney and 21st Century Fox shareholders voted unanimously in favor of Disney’s US$71.3-billion bid to acquire large parts of Rupert Murdoch’s empire, including its movie and TV studios, cable properties, international TV businesses, a 30% stake in streaming service Hulu and a 39% stake in European satcaster Sky. (On October 4, however, Fox’s Sky stake was taken off the table after Comcast purchased it for US$15.1 billion.)

Earlier this month, Disney announced an executive reorg in its media networks division that will see current Fox president and Fox Networks Group CEO Peter Rice become chairman of Walt Disney Television and co-chair of Disney Media Networks. Additionally, it was announced that Fox Television Group CEO and chairman Dana Walden will assume the chairman’s role for Disney Television Studios and ABC Entertainment.

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