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China Lion CEO Milt Barlow exits company

Exec will remain major shareholder

China Lion Entertainment CEO Milt Barlow is ankling the company but will remain its second-biggest shareholder.

The exec announced his exit in a Monday statement. China Lion president and fellow founding shareholder Jiang Yanming will take over management, supported by senior VP Robert Lundberg who will handle day to day operations. Company is chaired by Greg Coote.

China Lion has released more than 50 Chinese movies to North American, Australian, New Zealand and U.K. auds. Barlow launched the distribution effort through his New Zealand company Incubate starting in 2008.

A year ago, Chinese film companies Bona and Huayi Brothers took a stake in the company. Latest China Lion release was “Back to 1942,” and company also released Chinese hits such as “Aftershock” and “If You Are the One 2” in North America.

Barlow was responsible for negotiating a 2-year exclusive deal with AMC Theaters as well as ancillary deals with New Video and WellGo. China Lion recently announced its own channel on Hulu.

Popular on Variety

“Our board has decided to restructure and regroup for its next phase of growth in North America. and beyond and we have amicably agreed that it is time for a change,” said Barlow in the statement. “I have a number of other initiatives that I wish to pursue with Asian entertainment in North America.”

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