Odeon Cinemas, part of the AMC theaters group, is looking for a new managing director U.K. & Ireland, following the resignation of Carol Welch after some six years at the company.
Welch, who was MD for the U.K. and Ireland, and chief commercial officer (Europe), is leaving the company to become CEO of CEO at AF Blakemore, a food distributor that is one of the U.K.’s largest privately owned family businesses.
Following Welch’s departure Odeon will split the two roles. Chris Bates, Commercial Director UKI & Europe, has been promoted to the role of chief commercial officer, extending his current remit as European commercial director. He will also be joining Odeon’s executive committee.
A search for a new MD for the U.K. & Ireland is now in its final stages, the company said.
Mark Way, MD of Odeon Cinema Group, paid generous tribute to Welch. “I would like to congratulate her for everything she has achieved at ODEON over the last six years and thank her for her passion, dedication, and commitment to our colleagues and guests,” he said. “[She] has made a significant difference to our business.”
Odeon Cinemas Group is Europe’s largest exhibitor with nearly 2,500 screens across the U.K. and Ireland, Finland, Germany, Italy, Norway, Portugal, Spain and Sweden, according to a 2022 study from The International Union of Cinemas. It is followed by Cineworld, Vue International and Les Cinémas Pathé Gaumont.
AMC evaded persistent threats of bankruptcy in 2020 at the depths of the COVID-19 pandemic, but it emerged as a very different group. As part of a plan to diversify, the group in May last year bought a gold and silver mine and in November struck a partnership with video conferencing firm Zoom.