LONDON — Alison Thompson is ankling as chief executive of the Sales Co. to join Pathe Intl. as its London-based head of sales.

Appointment heralds a significant expansion of Pathe’s film sales operations to coincide with the beefing up of the company’s U.K. production slate.

Thompson will work closely with Jean-Louis Rubin, who heads Pathe Intl. in Los Angeles. She will report in London to Francois Invernel, managing director of Pathe Entertainment.

French-owned Pathe teamed up with Rubin last year to launch its own foreign sales arm for its English-lingo pics after ending its relationship with United Artists Intl.

The date of Thompson’s departure from the Sales Co., where she has worked for the past 14 years, has not yet been fixed, but she is not expected to move until the end of the year.

Coming attractions

At Pathe, the slate Thompson will handle includes Terry Gilliam’s $32 million pic “The Man Who Killed Don Quixote,” starring Johnny Depp, which starts shooting this month; and Nick Hamm’s “About the Hole,” which stars Thora Birch.

Thompson has been the Sales Co.’s chief exec for the past four years. The company, co-owned by the BBC, British Screen, Zenith and the Film Consortium, specializes in arthouse fare.

It is currently selling several hits from this year’s fall festival circuit, including Stephen Frears’ “Liam” and David Kane’s “Born Romantic.”