Ron Meyer's Recipe for Success: "Stay Away" From Choosing Which Movies Get Made

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NBCUniversal vice chairman Ron Meyer

David Geffen says Meyer likes being a "No. 2 guy."

Ron Meyer, vice chairman of NBCUniversal and co-founder of the Creative Artists Agency, has a word of advice for Hollywood's ladder-climbers and aspiring studio heads: Don't be the one who picks what movies get made.

“I’ve always thought that younger people really have to be making those decisions,” Meyer said in a long profile in The Wall Street Journal published Wednesday. “I look at some of the films that were very successful, and the truth is, I wouldn’t have made them. Or I would have made them differently. So I know that that’s not what I should be doing.”

Media magnate David Geffen, who tapped Meyer to run Universal, observes that Meyer likes being "the No. 2 guy," according to the article. Meyer "stayed away from choosing which movies the company made," a decision that Geffen thinks has contributed to Meyer's success and longevity in the entertainment business.

“If you’re going to take credit for your hits,” Meyer told WSJ, “you’d better take a lot of blame for your flops.”

Last year, Universal had the best year for a movie studio on record. With hits like Jurassic World, Pitch Perfect 2, Minions, Fifty Shades of Grey and Furious 7, the studio pulled in almost $7 billion.

Meyer features prominently in James Andrew Miller's new CAA chronicle Powerhouse: The Untold Story of Hollywood’s Creative Artists Agency, which details Meyer's falling-out with his CAA co-founder Michael Ovitz.

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