Universal Pictures Hires Business Affairs Chief
Universal Pictures has named CAA veteran Matt Leaf as its executive vp, head of business affairs.
Leaf will lead Universal’s theatrical business affairs team as they negotiate major talent deals, hammer out terms for project development, financing, production and distribution by Universal, and how projects are sold to or licensed by the Hollywood studio.
He comes to Universal having spent most of his career at CAA, the Hollywood talent agency, as co-head of motion pictures, business affairs.
Jimmy Horowitz, NBCUniversal’s vice chairman of business affairs and operations, to whom Leaf will report, wrote in a memo: “Matt’s leadership, strategic partnership and stellar reputation in our industry will play an instrumental role in the long-term success of the studio in developing a diverse slate of entertainment offerings across our dynamic distribution ecosystem.”
A full copy of the employees’ memo follows:
Today, I am pleased to share that Matt Leaf will be joining Universal as EVP, head of business affairs, reporting to me. Matt is a seasoned executive with more than 25 years of experience within the entertainment and digital media industries. He spent most of his career at CAA as co-head of motion pictures business affairs, directly managing the agency’s negotiations on behalf of its clients, and working closely with all major and independent studios.
During his time at CAA, Matt helped guide the agency through transformative years and the creation of major franchise films, including the expansion of independent media financing and the emergence of streaming services. He also played a key role in cultivating a pipeline of diverse business affairs talent through mentorship and training which has launched several into executive roles in the industry.
In this role, Matt will lead Universal’s theatrical business affairs team responsible for negotiating all above-the-line deals. He will be responsible for establishing terms for all projects developed, produced and distributed by Universal, as well as projects sold to or licensed by the studio. He will also work closely with our film strategy team preparing financial models utilized for evaluating upcoming projects.
As the media landscape continues to evolve, I am confident that Matt’s leadership, strategic partnership and stellar reputation in our industry will play an instrumental role in the long-term success of the studio in developing a diverse slate of entertainment offerings across our dynamic distribution ecosystem. .
Please join me in giving Matt a warm welcome to the team.
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