Duncan Clark Expands Role as President, Distribution, of Universal Pictures International

Courtesy of Universal
Duncan Clark

The distribution and marketing veteran will remain based in London, reversing an earlier plan to move the position to Los Angeles

Universal Pictures International is expanding Duncan Clark’s role as president, distribution, giving him oversight of the company's international organization. 

Clark has been filling the void left when David Kosse began transitioning out of his role as president, international, for Universal Pictures, while a search was conducted for a new president. However, Clark's role was expanded. 

This marks a reversal for Universal, which is part of Comcast. The company had planned to move the job to Los Angeles, but Duncan will take on his new role in London.

In a memo to Universal staff Monday, Jeff Shell, chairman Universal Filmed Entertainment Group, and Donna Langley, Universal Pictures chairman, explained the decision and praised Clark: "He's a key contributor and strategist who provides enormous value to our company and we feel that Universal is well positioned to continue to grow in the international space under his leadership. Thus, we have ended our search for an international theatrical leader based in Los Angeles and Duncan has agreed to fulfill that role from London."

The promotion is being announced this week in Los Angeles where Universal is holding a meeting for its international team of executives.

The memo also noted that on Friday Peter Kujawski was appointed managing director Universal Pictures International Production, overseeing international production and worldwide acquisition. He and Josh Goldstine, who was promoted earlier this year to head of international marketing (as well as domestic), will continue to be based in Los Angeles.

"With Duncan leading our international team from London and Josh and Peter here in Los Angles, we believe we've achieved the twin goals of securing the strongest possible international leaders," said the memo, "and also being able to have more day-to-day interaction between those leaders and Universal's executive team.

Clark, who renewed his contract with Universal earlier this year, was named Distributor of the Year this past June at CineEurope, an event for European distributors.

When he received the award, Clark was praised as “a dedicated leader whose passion and commitment both for his company and the industry have helped bring quality films to so many moviegoers around the world.”

Clark has been president of UPI distribution since 2011. He oversees United International Pictures as well as UPI’s independent distribution partners and sales agents.

Clark helped create Universal’s stand-alone distribution company in 2007 when it ended a joint venture with Paramount Pictures.

During his tenure, Universal has had a number of successful releases around the world. In 2013, Universal grossed more than $2 billion at the international box office for the first time with hits such as Despicable Me 2, Fast & Furious 6 and Les Miserables.

Before joining Universal, Clark had done consulting on distribution and marketing for Steven Spielberg’s War of the Worlds and Munich, as well as the James Bond movie Casino Royale.

Clark spent nearly 15 years at Sony Pictures Entertainment (and Columbia Pictures) from 1986 until 2000, as head of international marketing and president of international distribution.

From 1980 until 1986, Clark was head of marketing and distribution for the joint venture, UIP, in the U.K. At the time UIP distributed not only for Universal and Paramount, but also for MGM.

Sept. 22, 12:45 p.m. An earlier version of the story said Clark was getting a new title. He is expanding his role while keeping the same title.