Besson associate replaces Baronnet

Longterm Luc Besson associate Christophe Lambert has been tapped as the new CEO of EuropaCorp, Besson’s production, distribution and international sales powerhouse.

Lambert, not to be confused with the Gallic thesp of the same name, replaces Jean-Julien Baronnet, who tendered his resignation to the board on Thursday after 20 months in the job.

Lambert is CEO of Frontline, Besson’s holding company which owns 62% of EuropaCorp.

A high-ranking ad exec, Lambert teamed with Besson to create ad agency Blue in 2008. He has also been working on Besson’s Paris studio and production project, Cite du Cinema, on track to open in 2012.

Lambert joins EuropaCorp, launched by Besson and Pierre-Ange Le Pogam in 2000, as it lays the foundation for second-decade growth.

EuropaCorp will go on investing some $126.5 million-$164.5 million a year in pic production, releasing about 10 films over 2010-11 in France, of which eight could be own productions, Le Pogam said.

EuropaCorp is also ratcheting up the value of its film catalogue and moved into TV production by acquiring 75% of Gaul’s Cipango in April.

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