Top spot at Endemol may go to Barnicoat

Speculation mounts following Agut resignation

A Brit may take the reins at European entertainment giant Endemol following the resignation of CEO Joaquim Agut.

Observers predict Endemol chief operating officer Tom Barnicoat, ex-head of the “Big Brother” producers U.K. operation, will land the gig.

Endemol’s supervisory board accepted Agut’s resignation Wednesday evening following the shareholders’ annual general meeting.

With Spanish telco giant Telefonica the combo’s biggest shareholder, however, another Spaniard is more likely as a successor.

“Telefonica will want to put one of its own people in,” reckoned an industry insider. “So I think we can look forward to a Spanish caretaker manager until Telefonica sells the rest of its Endemol stock.”

Agut held Endemol’s top job for 30 months but became tired of commuting from his Barcelona home to Endemol’s HQ in Holland.

In a statement, Endemol said he would be replaced “without delay.”

Agut’s exit has reignited speculation about Endemol’s takeover following recent reports that a consortium is considering a bid.

Last week Telefonica said it was mulling a sale of its remaining Endemol stock following the flotation of a 22.3% stake last fall.

Gamer “Deal or No Deal” is the latest Endemol hit, screening in more than 30 territories including the U.S., where it’s aired by NBC.

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