Los Angeles, CA – January 18, 2017 – Salil Mehta has been named President of FoxNext, a newly-created division that will work across Twentieth Century Fox Film and Fox Networks Group to oversee video gaming, location-based entertainment, virtual and augmented reality productions. By combining these activities, FoxNext is poised to drive the company’s next-generation storytelling experiences.
Mehta, who first joined Fox in 2013 and most recently served as President, Content Management for Twentieth Century Fox Film, will begin his new role immediately, and report jointly to Peter Rice, Chairman and CEO of Fox Networks Group, and Stacey Snider, Chairman and CEO of Twentieth Century Fox Film.
FoxNext will oversee the production of studio franchise VR experiences, such as the already announced ALIEN and PLANET OF THE APES productions, and work to commercialize Fox’s overarching VR strategy. FoxNext will also combine the efforts of the video gaming groups responsible for such hits as THE SIMPSONS: TAPPED OUT mobile game and the ALIEN: ISOLATION console/PC game into one new interactive unit. It will also oversee the company’s location-based entertainment business including the development of the 20th Century Fox World theme park in Malaysia.
Rice commented: “We’re excited by the power of new technologies to drive the art of storytelling forward and we know we’ve only scratched the surface. Salil brings a strategic business vision and a deep understanding of new technologies allowing us to expand our creative capabilities."
Snider commented: “Extending our storytelling to new platforms in new ways is a constant focus for us as we look to build more touch points with consumers every day. Building on the momentum we’ve already seen in this area via the Fox Innovation Lab, FoxNext represents a natural next step in defining our long-term vision in this arena, and Salil is quite simply the perfect executive to build this group into what we know will be an industry leader.”
FoxNext emerged from the Fox Innovation Lab, which launched the Company’s first commercial VR endeavor, 2016’s widely-acclaimed THE MARTIAN VR EXPERIENCE. Mehta will join in the management of the Fox Innovation Lab as it broadens its purview to support all of 21st Century Fox. FoxNext will also work closely on film studio projects with an advisory board consisting of Twentieth Century Fox Film executives Ted Gagliano, David Greenbaum and Mike Dunn.
Reporting to Mehta will be: Rick Phillips, newly appointed Executive Vice President of Fox Interactive; Greg Lombardo, Senior Vice President of Fox Location Based Entertainment; Brendan Handler, Senior Vice President of New Media and General Manager of FoxNext’s VR Studio; and Ted Schilowitz, Fox Futurist, who will also continue to advise Twentieth Century Fox Film’s Gagliano on new production technologies.
Prior to joining Twentieth Century Fox Film in 2013, Mehta held a number of senior executive roles at NBCUniversal, where he most recently served as Chief Operating Officer of the company’s unit that included entertainment cable networks Bravo, Oxygen and Style; the Spanish-language broadcast network, Telemundo; and NBCUniversal’s digital assets, including Fandango and Daily Candy. Before that, Mr. Mehta spent three years as President, Business Operations, Strategy and Development for NBCUniversal. During that time, he was a key player in NBCUniversal’s integration with Comcast; drove NBCU’s purchase of The Weather Channel; played a key role the creation of A&E Television Networks; and sold the company’s Sundance Channel unit to Rainbow Media Holdings. Prior to NBCUniversal, Mehta worked for 14 years in a number of roles at The Walt Disney Company.
Fox Networks Group
Twentieth Century Fox Film