Twentieth Century Fox Promotes Emma Watts to Vice Chairman

Claudia Lucia
Emma Watts

The veteran production executive will work closely with studio chairman and CEO Stacey Snider.

Longtime Fox executive Emma Watts has been named vice chairman of 20th Century Fox Film.

She also will retain her title as president of production.

Watts’ promotion had been widely expected. She has a strong bond with 21st Century Fox chiefs James and Lachlan Murdoch, who installed Stacey Snider as the film studio’s chairman last year. Watts' elevation solidifies her standing in the new regime.

Watts will now oversee a restructured group that brings together all of the studio's filmmaking assets, adding physical production, postproduction, visual effects and music to her ongoing leadership of the studio’s production, story, creative affairs and casting departments.

The announcement was made Thursday by 20th Century Fox Film chairman and CEO Stacey Snider.

“Emma’s work over the past 20 years speaks for itself — she’s simply the best in the industry,” said Snider. “On a personal level, I am thrilled to have her in this new role, one that not only enables us to work more closely together, but also expands her scope so we as a company can take full advantage of her talents as we tackle all the opportunities that lie ahead.”

The new structure will see Fox Animation, led by president Vanessa Morrison, co-report to Snider and Watts.

Fox International Productions and its president Tomas Jegeus will now co-report to Watts and Andrew Cripps, the studio’s president of international distribution. Fox Searchlight and Fox 2000 will continue to report to Snider, as will the studio’s marketing, distribution and other functional departments.

Snider succeeded Jim Gianopulos, who had a close relationship with Watts. In fall 2014, he reupped Watts’ contract for three years after she delivered a stellar slate of films, including X-Men: Days of Future Past and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.

Watts has been point on the X-Men and the Planet of the Apes movies, both of which are massive parts of the Fox film slate. She also spearheaded the Night at the Museum, Kingsman and Maze Runner franchises.

Watts joined the studio in 1997 and was named exec vp production in 2005. She became the studio’s president of production in 2007.