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Universal’s Abhijay Prakash Joins Blumhouse as President

Prakash will oversee all business aspects of the company

Abhijay Prakash is joining Blumhouse as President, the company announced on Monday.

Prakash will oversee all business aspects of the company and succeed Charles Layton, an 8-year Blumhouse veteran, who has been a close advisor to Jason Blum, as well as a senior business executive in the motion picture industry for over 30 years.

Layton will segue to Vice-Chairman and will stay on in a strategic and advisory role for the next two years.

“From my vantage point at Universal over the years, it was clear that nobody else in the business was as adept at figuring out how to create value from content as the Blumhouse team,” Prakash said in a statement. “I’m thrilled to make the leap to join this entrepreneurial team in helping further build this beloved, global brand, and leveraging the company’s strengths and unique business approach to access all the emerging opportunities in the film and television space. I’m also very grateful to Donna Langley, Jeff Shell and the Universal team, who have been so supportive of me throughout my career and I look forward to our continued collaboration.”

“I’ve been incredibly lucky to work with Abhijay,” Jason Blum added. “He’s one of the most astute, forward-thinking business leaders we’ve had the good fortune to partner with, and I’m thrilled that he’s joining Blumhouse and will help lead the company into its next phase of expansion.”

“Jason and I have talked for a number of years about who might be my eventual successor,” Layton added. “And Abhijay has been at the very top of our list since we had our first discussion on the subject. We are thrilled because it felt like the stars aligned for Abhijay to join us at a time when I was ready to pull back from the day to day and yet remain active, part-time as Vice Chairman.”

Prakash was formerly the President of Universal Filmed Entertainment Group (UFEG), where he was responsible for driving the studio’s strategic and long-range planning, while also overseeing the business operations of UFEG including finance, business development and administrative functions. Prakash previously served as Chief Operating Officer for DreamWorks Animation and oversaw the animation studio’s strategic planning and primary business operations including finance, business development, technology, and administrative functions. In addition to his responsibilities as COO, he also worked closely with other Universal leaders on release planning, franchise management, and brand development.

Prior to DreamWorks Animation, Prakash was Chief Operating Officer for Focus Features overseeing all aspects of finance, strategy, business affairs, physical production, distribution and operations. Prior to that role, he served as Executive Vice President, Film Strategy and Operations for Universal Pictures.

Layton has been a senior executive in the movie industry for over 30 years, notably as President of Alliance Films and Executive Vice President of Miramax. He has a BFA in Film and an MBA in Finance, both from NYU.

Blumhouse has amassed over $5 billion in global box office since being founded by Jason Blum in 2000. This year, they will release five feature films theatrically with “Firestarter” starring Zac Efron (Universal/Peacock); “The Black Phone” from director Scott Derrickson (Universal); “Halloween Ends” (Universal); B.J. Novak’s directorial debut, “Vengeance” (Focus Features); and “DASHCAM” (Momentum Pictures). In television, most recently, Blumhouse produced the highly rated and lauded series “The Thing About Pam” (NBC) starring Renee Zellweger; “Worst Roommate Ever” (Netflix); and the documentary “Our Father” (Netflix).

Variety first reported the news.

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