Parker new vice chairman as Fox film unit shifts ranks
EmptyHutch Parker, who had been serving as president of 20th Century Fox, has been promoted to vice chairman of 20th Century Fox Film Group. He will continue to oversee the TCF film unit while also taking on supervision of Fox Animation.
His new duties, along with those of a number of other top Fox executives, were announced Monday by Jim Gianopulos and Tom Rothman, co-chairmen of Fox Filmed Entertainment.
Parker's promotion will address the departure of Fox Animation president Chris Meledandri, who left the company to establish an animation division at Universal Pictures. While Parker will oversee Fox Animation -- responsible for such hits as the "Ice Age" movies and "Robots" -- Vanessa Morrison, a 12-year Fox production veteran, has been promoted to president of the division. She will report to Parker.
Rather than hire from outside, Gianopulos and Rothman reached into the studio's current ranks to fill the posts. They also tapped TFC executive Debbie Liebling as president of production at Fox Atomic, the studio's new, youth-oriented label. She will report to Peter Rice, who heads Fox Atomic and Fox Searchlight.
Production execs Emma Watts and Alex Young were promoted to co-presidents of production at TCF.
In addition, the studio announced two promotions at its CGI facility Blue Sky Studios. Brian Keane, currently general manager and chief financial officer, has been upped to chief operating officer and chief financial officer. Bruce Anderson, an associate producer on Fox Animation's CG feature "Horton Hears a Who," will retain those duties while also taking on the post of Blue Sky general manager.
"A central management tenet at Fox is that talented people get the chance to move up," Rothman and Gianopulos said.
Parker has served as TCF's president since 2005. He joined the studio in 1995 as senior vp production and was named president of production in 1999.
During her 12 years at Fox, Morrison has supervised such family-oriented films as "Garfield" and "Cheaper by the Dozen" -- several of her films have included CGI work. In her new role, she will oversee the current staff at Fox Animation, including vp John Cohen.
As an executive vp production at TCF, Liebling has overseen such Fox comedy hits as "Borat" and "Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story." Before joining Fox in 2002, she was chief programming exec for Comedy Central's original shows and served as co-producer of the feature film "South Park: Bigger Longer & Uncut."
At Fox Atomic, one of Liebling's first items of business will be to find a replacement for Lawrence Grey, the unit's vp production, who recently left for Universal.
Watts and Young supervised such recent hits as "Night at the Museum" and "X-Men: The Last Stand," respectively. In addition, Watts oversaw production on "I, Robot," "Behind Enemy Lines," "Shallow Hal" and the upcoming "Reno: 911!: Miami," while Young oversaw the first two "X-Men" movies as well as "Fantastic Four" and the upcoming "Live Free or Die" and "Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer."