There’s a changing of the guard at the team that leads Universal Pictures’ overseas distribution.
Duncan Clark, the convivial and much-beloved president of international distribution, will be stepping down after a 14-year run at the studio. He will transition into a consulting role in August and has been discussing his desire step down from the post with Donna Langley, chairman of Universal Filmed Entertainment Group, for the past few months.
Clark will be replaced by Veronika Kwan Vandenberg, who joins Universal as president of international distribution after a stint overseeing Warner Bros.’ international theatrical distribution activities. At Warners, Kwan Vandenberg oversaw local productions and developed theatrical strategy and partnerships in China. She also played a key role in guiding the international rollout of majors blockbusters such as the eight “Harry Potter” films, Christopher Nolan’s “The Dark Knight” trilogy, and “The Matrix” series.
Clark has several major successes under his belt, including overseeing the “Jurassic World,” “Fast & Furious” and “Despicable Me” franchises, as well as “1917” and the Blumhouse horror movies. Clark, who is based in London, began telling staff and filmmakers that he was leaving his post this week.
In a note to staff, Langley wrote, “Duncan has been instrumental in Universal’s success at the global box office, and under his leadership the studio has experienced some of the most profitable years in our history.”
She also praised Kwan Vandenberg as “a highly respected distribution executive who joins us with a strong track-record of success in distribution innovation, a strong fluency of the international marketplace, as well as deep relationships with filmmakers and exhibition.”
Kwan Vandenberg will be based in Los Angeles and will report to Langley.