Vet exec tapped exec veepee, production

Veteran production executive Ron Lynch has joined Universal Pictures as exec VP, production — a move that has been expected for the past two months.

Lynch replaces Don Zepfel, who left last month, in overseeing physical production on all feature film releases for Universal.

When Zepfel announced his departure to pursue outside interests, sources indicated that Lynch, who has been senior VP, production, at Walt Disney Pictures since 1996, would be named to the post.

Universal Pictures chairman Stacey Snider said: “We are extremely fortunate to have someone as experienced, knowledgeable and well respected as Ron joining our production team. I have known Ron since our days at TriStar, and his creative and business acumen will be a terrific resource for us. We know he will effectively complement the talented team we currently have in place.”

While at Disney, Lynch oversaw production of “The Insider,” “The Horse Whisperer,” “Mighty Joe Young” and the upcoming “Mission to Mars.”

Prior to working at Disney, Lynch served as exec VP, production administration, at TriStar Pictures and was involved with “Jumanji,” “Philadelphia,” “Legends of the Fall” and “Sleepless in Seattle,” among other films, after joining the studio in 1991.

He came to TriStar from Orion Pictures, where he served as a vice president and worked on films including “The Silence of the Lambs,” “The Addams Family” and “Little Man Tate.”

The naming of Lynch is one of the first major personnel moves at the studio by Snider since she was named sole chairman of the studio in early November.

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