Canal Plus shuffle

Pay TV giant's top management reassigned

PARIS — Canal Plus chairman Pierre Lescure has reshuffled his top management team following a board meeting Wednesday in Paris. The changes will take effect Jan. 4.

Sources at the pay television giant told Daily Variety that the alterations reflect the group’s ever-expanding portfolio of businesses as well as its international growth. Canal Plus has 13.4 million subscribers, with 7.2 million of those outside France.

“Most of the changes reflect the fact that we are an international group,” a Canal Plus spokeswoman said. “In the past, each territory has tended to operate on its own. The restructuring will break down certain divisions and widen responsibilities from a national to international level.”

The most striking change is the decision by senior exec VP, international, Michel Thoulouze to ask to be relieved of some of his responsibilities.

Shuffling the deck

Thoulouze, who has championed Canal Plus’ expansion in Europe, will concentrate his energy on chairing Italian pay television and digital platform Telepiu, as well as being chairman of Multithematiques — the joint venture with TCI that develops and runs some cable and satellite thematic channels on the international market.

Picking up the slack on the international front will be Laurent Perpere, the 48-year-old senior exec VP, finance. Perpere has been named senior exec VP development and international affairs, with Richard Lenormand moving into the finance berth as chief financial officer.

Bruno Delecour, the affable senior exec VP, commercial activities France, adds Europe to his sphere of responsibility and will continue to be head of digital platform Canal Satellite.

The final move involves Denis Olivennes, who was promoted from secretary general to chief operating officer Canal Plus group. Olivennes will also continue to chair Canal Plus’ cable business NC Numericable.

Some execs unaffected

Senior Canal Plus staffers who have not been affected by the reshuffle include deputy chairman Marc-Andre Feffer and senior exec VP, group subsidiaries, Vincent Grimond.

A Canal Plus statement noted that chairman Lescure had informed the board that the pay television group is in “good financial health in France” while also noting that “international results will be behind initial expectations.”

Canal Plus has set itself a target of posting a profit of one billion francs ($161 million) next year.

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