Eric Hughes, a former creative executive at Turner Pictures, has been named VP of production at Universal Pictures, as anticipated (Daily Variety, Feb. 19). The hire comes in the wake of a number of executive turnovers at the studio over the past two months. Hughes began his job at the studio on Wednesday.

Hughes will report to president of production Marc Platt and co-president of production Stacey Snider. “He’ll be an important member of the team,” Snider said. “What struck me most about Eric is his innate sense about what makes a good movie. He not only has good instincts, but he has good taste to back it up.”

Platt and Snider are expected to add another executive to the staff. Discussions have taken place with Warner Bros. exec Jennifer Perini (who leaves her post in May) about taking a position (Daily Variety, Feb. 19).

The production staff at U now includes Kevin Misher, Kate Barker, Leonard Goldberg and Diane Cairns.

During his two-year stint at Turner, Hughes worked on the development of such films as “Edwards & Hunt” and “Virgin of the Rodeo,” based on the book by Sarah Bird that Callie Khouri was looking to make for her feature film directing debut. That project now is in development at Warner Bros. Hughes worked under Amy Pascal at Turner Pictures before Time-Warner acquired Turner Broadcasting System.

Before joining Turner, Hughes served as director of development and story editor at Lynda Obst Prods.