Paulo Ferrari, one of Italy’s most respected film industryites, is retiring as topper of Warner Bros. Entertainment Italy after 21 years with the company.

Barbara Salabe has been tapped to replace Ferrari, who will stay on until spring.

Salabe, now managing director of Stage Entertainment, joins WB Italy on Nov. 7.

At Stage, she set up the Italo operation of Europe’s leading musical production company, founded by Joop van den Ende.

Before that, she spent four years as senior VP and managing director of Turner Broadcasting System Italia.

Salabe, who will be based in Rome, will have general oversight of all WB activities in Italy, including theatrical and homevideo production, marketing and distribution of studio and local-language films, TV distribution, consumer products, digital distribution and interactive entertainment. WB. also handles Sony theatrical releases in Italy.

She will report to chairman and CEO Barry Meyer, through Richard Fox, WB’s executive VP of international.

“Barbara has an outstanding reputation in the Italian entertainment industry, and an impressive breadth of experience across a range of sectors, including our sister company, Turner,” said Meyer. “I am confident our Italian businesses will thrive and grow under her leadership.”

Ferrari’s distinguished career in the local entertainment industry includes 17 years at MGM and 11 years at Columbia TriStar Films Italia.He is a former prexy of Italian motion picture association Anica, and of Italy’s anti-piracy org Fapav.