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Universal Chair Donna Langley Promotes Key Executives

Langley was promoted to sole chairman of Universal’s Filmed Entertainment group in a reorganization earlier this month

Universal Filmed Entertainment Group chairman Donna Langley has promoted a number of key executives and brought another back to the studio to serve in upper management.

Earlier this month, Langley was promoted to sole chairman of Universal’s Filmed Entertainment group in a reorganization that saw former chairman Jeff Shell expand his role to become chairman of NBCUniversal Film and Entertainment.

Peter Levinsohn will continue to serve as Universal’s president and chief distribution officer under Langley. In his role, Levinsohn will continue the development and execution of new distribution opportunities, and to oversee domestic theatrical distribution, global home entertainment, worldwide television distribution, new media and digital strategy, as well as film technology.  Levinsohn will partner closely with Universal Pictures International led by Duncan Clark, who also reports to Langley, as well as continuing to work closely with DWA TV.

Prior to joining Universal in 2013, Levinsohn spent 25 years at Fox, holding a variety of positions including president of new media and digital distribution for Fox Filmed Entertainment, president of Fox Interactive Media and a dual role of president of digital media for the Fox Group and president of worldwide pay television and video-on-demand for Twentieth Century Fox.

Jimmy Horowitz will now serve in an expanded role as president and vice chairman of Universal Pictures. He will maintain oversight of business and legal affairs, film strategy and the live stage business while acquiring additional responsibility around production operations. Horowitz will continue to work closely with Langley to manage the studio’s greenlight process and will have oversight of Universal’s production partners, including Illumination, Blumhouse Productions, Working Title and Amblin Partners.

Horowitz has been president of Universal Pictures since 2010. Prior to that, he served as co-president of production and executive vice president of Universal Pictures where he oversaw all non-creative aspects of production. Horowitz joined Universal in 1992 in the studio’s feature legal department and has held the roles of senior vice president, business and legal affairs and executive vice president, business and legal affairs, managing all of Universal’s term deals, along with oversight of the business and legal affairs departments.

Abhijay Prakash will return to Universal in the role of president, UFEG.  He previously served as chief operating officer for DreamWorks Animation and will transition over to the studio following the North American release of “How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World” on Feb. 22. Prakash will be responsible for driving the Universal’s strategic and long-range planning, while also overseeing the business operations of Universal Filmed Entertainment Group, including finance, business development and administrative functions.  In this role, he will also work corporate partners to manage day-to-day operations.

Prior to his DreamWorks position, Prakash served as COO for Focus Features, overseeing all aspects of finance, strategy, business affairs, physical production, distribution and operations. Previously, he was executive vice president, film strategy and operations for Universal Pictures, responsible for key strategic initiatives, including operational support for the studio’s slate planning, greenlighting and marketing optimization.

On the creative side, Peter Cramer was named president, Universal Pictures and is responsible for the creative strategy of Universal Pictures’ live-action film slate with direct oversight for creative development, and more active involvement in all aspects of production working closely with the studio’s filmmakers.