LOS ANGELES - Universal Pictures on Monday ousted Chairmen Marc Shmuger and David Linde after recent box office flops, including big-budget comedy Land of the Lost, replacing the pair with their marketing and production chiefs.
Universal's marketing head Adam Fogelson will now serve as chairman of the movie studio, and film production president Donna Langley will be co-chairman, reporting to Fogelson, Universal said in a statement.
Adam is a natural leader with a unique ability to anticipate our audience, understand our business and collaborate with our filmmakers to give us a competitive advantage, said Ron Meyer, president and chief operating officer of Universal Studios, the immediate parent of Universal Pictures.
Fogelson has served as president of marketing and distribution at Universal since October 2007, and he has been with the company since 1998.
Langley has served as president of production at the company since 2005, and Universal said that during that time she has been responsible for 14 films that have each made more than $100 million in the United States and Canada.
Universal said that Rick Finkelstein, who is the vice chairman and chief operating officer of Universal Pictures, will work with Fogelson and Langley as a strategic adviser.
Universal Pictures in recent months has released box office disappointments Funny People, Love Happens and Land of the Lost, a big budget comedy that made only $62 million at worldwide box offices.
Universal Pictures is part of NBC Universal, which is now 80 percent owned by General Electric Co and 20 percent by Vivendi SA. According to a source close to the negotiations, GE has been in talks to buy out Vivendi and sell a majority interest in NBC Universal to Comcast Corp. (Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis: Editing by Gerald E. McCormick)