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Fox Film Unit Speeds Up Its Leadership Switch

21st Century Fox‘s (NASDAQ: FOX) (NASDAQ: FOXA) film division is getting its new chairman and CEO ahead of schedule: Prominent longtime movie executive Stacy Snider will take the reins at its Twentieth Century Fox studio effective Sept. 1.

Snider had already been slated to replace Jim Gianopulos, who has been the subsidiary’s chairman and CEO for 16 years, and worked at the studio for a quarter of a century. He was originally to step down from his post when his contract expired on June 30, 2017, shifting into an advisory role at the company. According to Fox, his earlier-than-planned departure is being effected in order to “[allow] for a more immediate transition of leadership.”

Snider is currently Twentieth Century Fox’s co-chairman; upon her ascension, she will drop the “co-” from the title, in addition to becoming CEO. Long seen as one of the most powerful executives in Hollywood, she joined the studio in late 2014. Her prior roles included CEO and co-chairman of DreamWorks Studios; chairman of Universal Pictures; and president of Sony‘s TriStar Pictures. She also served as executive vice president of Guber-Peters Entertainment, which was folded into Sony beginning in 1989.

Gianopulos will not be an easy act to follow. He was at the helm of the studio when it released some of its biggest hits, including Titanic and Avatar. He was also its leader during the most successful years in its history, including 2014, when it broke the all-time global box office record for a studio with $5.5 billion in ticket sales.

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Snider is a good candidate to continue, and perhaps build on, this legacy. She is one of the most seasoned, top-level executives in the industry, and has helped bring a host of well-received and/or money-making films to the screen. These include American Pie at Universal, and Jerry Maguire and Philadelphia at Sony.

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Eric Volkman has no position in any stocks mentioned.

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