Chairman, Universal Pictures
Donna Langley was named Chairman of Universal Pictures in September 2013. She oversees all aspects of Universal’s production and marketing operations worldwide, including Focus Features, DreamWorks Animation and the studio’s Global Talent Development & Inclusion Group. Langley has been with Universal since 2001, starting as Senior Vice President of Production and subsequently serving as President of Production and Co-Chairman before her promotion to Chairman.
Under Langley’s visionary leadership, Universal has evolved to break numerous studio and industry records. In 2017, the studio saw its most profitable year, crossing $5 billion at the worldwide box office for the second time in its 106-year history with the successful slate of films including Split, Fifty Shades Darker, Get Out, The Fate of the Furious, Illumination’s Despicable Me 3 and Girls Trip. Universal also had a memorable year in 2015, as it marked the then highest-grossing domestic, international and worldwide box office of any single year in any film studio’s history. 2015 became the first time any studio ever tallied three films to cross $1 billion at the worldwide box office, with Furious 7, Jurassic World and Illumination’s Minions all reaching that milestone.
During her 17-year tenure, Langley has reinvigorated and expanded some of the most lucrative and popular franchises in Universal’s history. In addition to leading the charge in all of the films in the Fast & Furious series, which have grossed more than $5 billion, and the five movies in the juggernaut Bourne series, she has presided over the studio’s biggest and most profitable franchises. These include Jurassic World, Pitch Perfect, Illumination’s Despicable Me and The Secret Life of Pets, as well as Fifty Shades, Ride Along, The Purge, Meet the Parents, and Neighbors. She has also overseen diverse hits such as the Academy Award®-winning Les Misérables, Ray, Focus’s Phantom Thread, The Theory of Everything and The Danish Girl as well as Mamma Mia!, Knocked Up, Bridesmaids, Wanted, Safe House, Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax, Mama, Lone Survivor, Lucy, Unbroken, Trainwreck and Straight Outta Compton.
She began her career at New Line Cinema, where she served as Senior Vice President of Production before joining Universal in 2001. While at New Line, she worked on films including those that comprise the hit Austin Powers franchise, as well as The Cell and Drop Dead Gorgeous.
Most recently, Langley was honored with the Producers Guild of America’s 2018 Milestone Award. She also received the 2016 Pioneer of the Year Award from the Will Rogers Motion Picture Pioneers Foundation; and was the recipient of Women in Film’s prestigious Crystal Award for Excellence in Film in 2010. Langley was named The Hollywood Reporter’s Executive of the Year in 2015 and has been regularly featured in the publication’s Top 100 Women in Entertainment issue.
She is an Ambassador for Vital Voices Global Ambassadors Program, a partnership between Vital Voices Global Partnership and Bank of America, and also serves on Vital Voices Board of Directors. Langley is on the advisory board of Chrysalis and was a key founder of The Hollywood Reporter’s Women in Film Mentorship program. A voting member of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, she serves on the Board of Trustees for the American Film Institute.
A native of the United Kingdom, Langley lives in Los Angeles with her husband and their two sons.