Former EuropaCorp CEO Christophe Lambert Dies at 51

Christophe Lambert

The executive had stepped down from his role at Luc Besson's studio in February.

Former EuropaCorp CEO Christophe Lambert has died, a representative confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter. He was 51.

The executive, who stepped down from his CEO role at Luc Besson's studio earlier this year, had been diagnosed with cancer in mid-March, the rep said.

Lambert's surprise departure in February drew much debate about the reasons. He was replaced by veteran Hollywood studio executive Marc Shmuger.

Lambert joined EuropaCorp in 2010 and oversaw its expansion, signing up new output deals and heading a push into more English-language productions. In addition to his CEO duties at EuropaCorp, he also had a role overseeing Red, the joint distribution venture that EuropaCorp formed with Relativity Media in 2014.

A memo circulated within the company at the time said Lambert left to pursue a personal project after assuring that EuropaCorp's big-budget sci-fi epic Valerian was in good hands. In the same memo, Besson thanked Lambert for helping built EuropaCorp into a company that could stand next to the big studios.

"We have just learned of the death of Christophe Lambert," a EuropaCorp representative said Friday in a statement. "The entire EuropaCorp family mourns his sudden departure. The EuropaCorp group and all of his collaborators wish to express their condolences to Marie Sara, their children, their family and all of their close ones."

Tucker Tooley, CEO of Tooley Productions, said Friday: "I am deeply saddened by the death of my dear friend Christophe Lambert. He was, first and foremost, an incredibly devoted father and husband, and his family was most important to him; that will be his legacy. Christophe was also a uniquely talented filmmaker and charismatic leader. He will be deeply missed, and my thoughts are with his family."

Last month, EuropaCorp appointed Edouard de Vesinne as deputy CEO. The Paris-based executive reports to Shmuger, who is based in Los Angeles. De Vesinne was previously co-chair of EuropaCorp Television, bringing Taxi Brooklyn, which aired on NBC in the U.S., TF1’s No Limit and CanalPlus’ Section Zero to the small screen.