As Chairman, Universal Filmed Entertainment Group (UFEG), Donna Langley is responsible for the global creative strategy and business operations for the motion picture group. In this role, she oversees the production, marketing and distribution for film and television content across Universal Pictures, DreamWorks Animation (DWA), Focus Features, Universal Pictures International and Universal Pictures Home Entertainment.
Under Langley’s strategic vision, Universal has been a consistent leader in the theatrical marketplace as the studio has successfully expanded and reinvigorated its core franchises including Fast & Furious, DWA’s How to Train Your Dragon, Jurassic World, the Bourne series, Pitch Perfect, Illumination’s Despicable Me as well as Fifty Shades, Mamma Mia, Ride Along, and The Purge. Through her stewardship in building a franchise business and securing long-term filmmaker partnerships with Amblin Entertainment, Blumhouse Productions, Illumination, and Monkeypaw Productions, she has positioned Universal a key content supplier to the broader NBCU portfolio including Universal Brand Development, Peacock and Theme Parks. Langley has also distinguished the studio a creative home to a generation of emerging filmmakers and content creators who champion original and inclusive storytelling.
Prior to being named sole Chairman, UFEG, in 2019, Langley served as Chairman of Universal Pictures since 2013 where she engineered a strategic slate of all-audience tentpoles, breakthrough comedies, and pop-culture hit horror films that resulted in four years of record global profit, and the two most profitable years in the studio’s 107-year history. During her tenure, Langley led Focus Features’ global realignment with Universal Pictures International; oversaw the studio’s successful integration of DreamWorks Animation; and launched the Global Talent Development & Inclusion group, making Universal the first major feature studio to have a department working with both production and workforce to build on the company’s commitment to progressing diversity and inclusion.
The studio has received numerous awards under Langley’s leadership. Most recently, Sam Mendes’ highly-acclaimed 1917 won the Golden Globes Awards for Best Picture and Best Director; in 2019, Universal Pictures and Focus Features took home five Academy Awards® including the Best Picture Oscar® for Green Book and the Best Adapted Screenplay award for BlacKkKlansman; and in 2018, Get Out took home an Academy Award ® for Best Original Screenplay.
Additional commercial and critical hits Langley has presided over include Hobbs & Shaw, Us, Downton Abbey, Harriet, Queen & Slim, Good Boys, Yesterday, Glass, Night School, Halloween, Illumination’s Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch, and The Secret Life of Pets 1 & 2, Girls Trip, Split, Straight Outta Compton, Atomic Blonde, Ride Along, Bridesmaids, Neighbors, Unbroken, Trainwreck, Les Misérables, The Theory of Everything, The Danish Girl and Ray, among many others. She first joined Universal in 2001 as Senior Vice President of Production, and subsequently served as President of Production, Co-Chairman, Universal Pictures. She began her career at New Line Cinema, where she worked on hit Austin Powers franchise, as well as The Cell and Drop Dead Gorgeous.
Over the years, Langley has been recognized for her impact on the film and entertainment industry. A native of the United Kingdom, she is the first British female to run a major Hollywood studio, and was recently awarded a Dame Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (DBE) title by the Queen in her 2020 New Year’s Honour List. The honour recognizes Langley’s many accomplishments in redefining popular culture and her efforts to expand networks and opportunities for women and people of color in the entertainment industry, while also championing organizations dedicated to providing access, networks and pathways to success, for all people. She is also a recipient of 2018 Producers Guild of America’s Milestone Award; the 2016 Will Rogers Motion Picture Pioneers Foundation Pioneer of the Year Award; and the 2014 Women in Film’s Crystal Award for Excellence in Film.
A passionate advocate for mentorship and female empowerment, Langley is an Ambassador for Vital Voices Global Ambassadors Program and has served on the organization’s Board of Directors since 2013. She was also 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, Langley serves on the Board of Trustees for the American Film Institute, Motion Picture Association (MPA), USC’s School of Cinematic Arts Board of Councilors, and SAG-AFTRA Foundation’s Entertainment Industry Council.
Langley resides in Los Angeles with her family.