Former Fox head of Emma Watts has joined Paramount Pictures as president of the motion picture group.

Current incumbent Wyck Godfrey, who has served in the role since 2018, is leaving to work as an independent producer.

Watts will reunite with Paramount Pictures chairman Jim Gianopulos, to whom she reports, and starts on July 20.

The new arrival will oversee film operations from development to release, including Paramount Pictures and Paramount Players production labels, manage creative/development group and supervising casting, physical production, post-production and music.

Elizabeth Raposo will continue to serve in her current role as president of production, reporting to Watts.

After rising through the ranks in nearly 20 years at Twentieth Century Studios Watts reached the position of vice chairman, becoming chief executive of the rebranded Twentieth Century Studios after the Disney-Fox merger.

Her credits include Night At The Museum, The Greatest Showman, Bohemian Rhapsody, The Martian, Deadpool, Logan, Steven upcoming Spielberg’s West Side Story, and James Cameron’s Avatar.

Gianopulos called Watts “one of the most exceptional executives in the film industry” and hailed her “impeccable taste, talent relationships and innovative vision”.

Of Godfrey, he added said: “He has been an exceptional executive and a dear friend, who has helped lead us through this renaissance of the studio, and I look forward to the opportunity to work with him again in the future, and wish him continued success in his ongoing creative endeavors.”

Godfrey said working at Paramount “one of the great joys of my life” and said Gianopulos and Watts were “rock stars in their respective jobs”.

During his tenure at Paramount he oversaw Mission: Impossible – Fallout, Bumblebee, Rocketman, Sonic The Hedgehog, and the upcoming A Quiet Place Part II, and Top Gun: Maverick, among others.