Barrett bridges Viv U gap

Internet vet to report to Lescure in Paris

PARIS — American Amy Barrett has been appointed as Pierre Lescure’s “chief of staff,” handling relations between the Canal Plus Group in France and Vivendi Universal’s Stateside ops.

She will be based in Paris. Her official title is vice president assigned to the office of the chairman, and she will report directly to Lescure.

Barrett was a Wall Street Journal correspondent before joining Vivendi Universal Net, the conglom’s Internet arm, as executive vice president, communications, in 2000.

Her new role at the Canal Plus Group has echoes of the position held by Alex Berger, Pierre Lescure’s right-hand man until he was ousted in the shakeup that followed last year’s merger.

But while Berger had close dealings with Hollywood and the U.S. financial world, Barrett’s role is essentially internal to the conglom, a company source said, citing her “American background and knowledge of France” as key assets in bridging the transatlantic gap.

Her appointment is part of Vivendi U’s ongoing attempts to simplify the transatlantic coordination of its global film and TV operations. Conglom recently announced the merger of U Pictures and European unit StudioCanal (Daily Variety, July 1).

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