Canal Plus Group CEO Maxime Saada has been appointed chairman of the company's board of directors, and is set to take full rein of the Vivendi-owned European film and TV powerhouse's operations.Saada will replace Jean-Christophe Thiery at the helm of the board of directors. Thiery will become chairman of the supervisory board of Canal Plus Group, replacing Vincent Bolloré, who remains Vivendi chairman.Under Saada's leadership, Canal Plus Group stabilized its money-losing pay-TV unit Canal Plus in France through the creation...
Known as a corporate raider in the world of media, Brittany-born billionaire Vincent Bolloré has been chairman of Vivendi, the parent company of Canal Plus Group and Universal Music Group, since 2015.
Upon taking Vivendi’s reins, Bollore has engineered a major overhaul of Canal Plus’s top management. Maxime Saada was appointed CEO of paybox group Canal Plus and Didier Lupfer was tapped chairman and CEO of Studiocanal, the film and TV production and distribution studio, which has the world’s third largest film library.
Following the sale of Activision Blizzard, Bolloré also led Vivendi into the video game industry with the acquisition of Gameloft, the online gaming company, and a 30 percent stake in Gameloft’s sister banner Ubisoft, which is behind “Assassin’s Creed” and “Splinter Cell,” among other hit vidgame franchises.
Under Bolloré’s leadership, Vivendi has also been building alliances with telco companies, such as Telecom Italia, Telefonica in Spain and Orange and Free in France to form a Southern European media giant that could compete with global players such as Netflix, Amazon and Altice Group, the parent company of SFR. Vivendi also just became Mediaset’s second biggest shareholder with a 30 percent stake, amid an ongoing legal spat between the two companies.
Last year, Vivendi launched Studio Plus, an offer of mobile-native premium scripted series, in partnership with local telcos. Under Bollore’s watch, Universal Music Group has been thriving, growing its streaming revenues significantly in 2016, while Canal Plus has expanded its presence overseas, especially in Africa, where it more than doubled its subscriber base. Bollore’s main challenge going forward is to jumpstart the growth of Canal Plus Group’s premium channels in France, which lost nearly half a million subscribers in France in 2016.
In 2017, Bollore began consolidating his media holdings by acquiring the 59.2% stake his other company, Bollore Group, has in advertising agency Havas.