Donna Langley

Donna Langley

United States of America
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Mentoring: Fatima J. Al-Mohannadi

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"It is of paramount importance that I continue to use my success as a platform to help others achieve their dreams through mentoring and leadership."

Donna Langley is the Chairman of Universal Pictures, a position she has held since September of 2013. Universal Pictures is one of the six major motion picture studios in the United States, with annual revenues of $5.5 billion. Donna oversees Universal Pictures production and marketing operations worldwide, and the studio’s specialty division, Focus Features.  

Prior to becoming Chairman, Donna served as Universal Pictures Co-Chairman for three years. Under her leadership, Universal enjoyed a tremendous run at the box office, with 2013 recording $3.7 billion in worldwide grosses and marking Universal’s highest grossing year in the studios’ 102-year history.    

During her 13-year tenure with Universal, Donna has been a driving force behind some of the studio’s biggest hits including the Academy Award®-winning Les Misérables, the highest-grossing original R-rated comedy of all time, Ted, Snow White and the Huntsman, Safe House, Bridesmaids, Mamma Mia!, Knocked Up and Wanted. Donna is credited with reinvigorating and growing some of Universal’s most lucrative and popular franchises including Fast & Furious and the Bourne series.

Donna spearheaded the acquisition of two of the most highly-anticipated film adaptations of best-selling books including “Unbroken,” and E L James’ global phenomenon, “Fifty Shades of Grey” trilogy.  

She’s been instrumental in attracting key filmmakers to the studio including Judd Apatow, Jason Blum, Will Packer, Seth MacFarlane, as well as Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci. Donna’s close collaboration with the premier international production company Working Title saw the two companies celebrate the critical and commercial success of Les Misèrables in 2013. She also oversees the company’s highly valuable long time production relationships with Imagine Entertainment, Scott Stuber (Bluegrass Films) and Marc Platt Productions.

Donna is a Global Ambassador for Vital Voices Global Partnership, and is on the advisory board of Chrysalis, a nonprofit organization dedicated to creating a pathway to self-sufficiency for homeless and low-income individuals. In addition, she has helped launch The Hollywood Reporter’s Women in Film Mentorship program, and is a voting member of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and she serves on the Board of Trustees for the American Film Institute.

Donna has regularly been featured as one of The Hollywood Reporter’s Top 100 Women in Entertainment and as a leading British executive in Hollywood in The Sunday Times’ Reel Britannia. Langley was honored with the Grace Kelly Award in December 2011 for her continued support of the March of Dimes. In June of 2010, Langley was also honored by the Women in Film organization with the Crystal Award for excellence in filmmaking.

Donna has been with Universal since 2001. She began as senior vice president of production and rose through the production ranks to president of production and then co-chairman in October of 2009.

She began her career at New Line Cinema, where she served as senior vice president of production before joining Universal.  While at New Line, she worked on films including the hit Austin Powers franchise, The Cell and Drop Dead Gorgeous.

She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and their two sons.

2014 news

Donna Langley honored at Variety's Power of Women luncheon.