Rodolphe Belmer has been upped to managing director of Vivendi-owned Canal Plus Group, in charge of editorial, distribution, commercial and technical activities.

Belmer’s promotion continues his preparation to succeed Bertrand Meheut, who remains prexy of CPG.

Belmer will pilot the company’s pay TV operations, notably paybox Canal Plus, and its newly-launched free DTT nets, D8 and D17.

The exec joined the outfit in 2001 as head of strategy and development and quickly rose through the ranks, becoming co-managing director in charge of the editorial division in 2003. For the past nine years, Belmer has succeeded in branding Canal Plus and building a strong offer of premium original content, notably with fiction drama, that has helped ramp up subscriptions.

In the first half of 2012, revenue at CPG rose 3.3% to $3 billion on higher subscriptions and advertising sales, and a 19% jump at sales arm Studiocanal.

Meheut, who will reportedly hand the company’s reins to Belmer in 2014, will continue to oversee Studiocanal, the shingle’s international sales arm and its overseas operations.