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Emma Watts    

Vice Chairman & President of Production at 20th Century Fox

Emma Watts, 44, is president of production at film studio 20th Century Fox, a position she's held since 2009. Under Chairman and Chief Executive Jim Gianopulos, the studio is coming off a strong run of box-office winners, including "Gone Girl," "The Maze Runner" and "X-Men: Days of Future Past."

Watts was born in England and emigrated to Vancouver, Canada, when she was five. She moved to the U.S. to study English literature at UCLA. After college, she got her first job as a production assistant at Herb Ritts' photography studio, followed by a gig at Def Pictures, the production company of hip-hop impresario Russell Simmons.

Major studios need franchises, and Watts' successes have included the rekindling of the "Planet of the Apes" and "X-Men" series. "X-Men: First Class" introduced a new cast in 2011, followed by this year's "X-Men: Days of Future Past." For the latter, she brought back director Bryan Singer of the first "X-Men" movie from 2000. She put Matt Reeves at the helm of "Dawn of the Planet of the Apes." This summer's "Apes" movie has touched the $700-million mark worldwide, while "X-Men" grossed even more. "Once you have those two juggernauts working the way they have, then it's about all the chances you can take to build new franchises," Watts said. The studio has "Exodus: Gods and Kings" and the next "Night at the Museum" installment still to come this year.

Her biggest accomplishment, she says, is juggling her family and her career. The mother of three said having kids makes her better at her job. "This division is supposed to make 12 movies a year, and I think you can get burnt out and jaded and your work suffers," she said. "But you need to stay connected emotionally, and my family demands that. They won't tolerate anything less than that."

Her work and family take up most of her time, but she says she likes to clear her head and keep healthy with morning runs and occasional yoga sessions. She and her husband sometimes take mountain biking trips and go hiking with their children.

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