Walak, who is London based, will start in December and report to Universal Pictures chairman Donna Langley. He will focus on international acquisitions and productions, and local-language projects.
He was previously president/m.d. Europe – production, acquisitions and television at TWC. He left earlier this month after two years with the company. Prior to joining TWC, Walak was senior VP, acquisitions and production at Alliance Films/Momentum Pictures.
“I’m thrilled to join Universal at this extraordinary time in the studio’s history as it celebrates a record-breaking year, the likes of which our industry has never seen,” Walak said.
“I have great respect for Peter’s taste, which I have consistently applauded at every festival. He and the UPIP team have an outstanding track record and I look forward to building the slate and identifying new opportunities for growth in the international marketplace.”
“Robert is one of the most well-respected executives in our business and has the breadth and depth of knowledge to lift our entire organization to new levels of success across every part of our broad slate,” Kujawski said in a statement.
“From mainstream English-language acquisitions to auteur-driven films to local-language productions, his wealth of filmmaker relationships and ability to identify new and unique opportunities make him an absolutely invaluable partner.”
Universal Pictures has had a stellar year. It passed $5 billion at the worldwide box office in July — faster than any other studio has reached that milestone. Hits have included “Minions,” “Jurassic World” and “Fifty Shades of Grey.” Recent releases include “Steve Jobs,” “Crimson Peak” and “Everest.”