Ivernel to run Pathe's Brit-French ops


LONDON -- French-owned Pathe -- which operates production and distribution on both sides of the channel -- is shaking up its management structure and upping Pathe U.K. managing director Francois Ivernel to oversee the marriage of its British and French film distribution and production arms.

Ivernel will run the revamped and enlarged operation in tandem with Marc Lacan, the previous head of Pathe Distribution in France. Ivernel will be tasked with overseeing all things celluloid while Lacan will take up the task of looking after general management for the company.

Lacan and Ivernel are both being upped to executive vp titles and will report to Pathe's reclusive owner and chairman Jerome Seydoux.

The shake-up also is good news for Ivernel's deputy and highly respected executive Cameron McCracken, who steps into Ivernel's shoes as Pathe U.K. managing director. McCracken will report to Ivernel and Lacan.

Ivernel said that uniting the two operations under shared management will provide a "great opportunity for Pathe to take advantage of its unique market presence in both countries."

Added Ivernel: "We at Pathe U.K. have had a tremendous past few years, and I look forward to building on this in continued collaboration with Cameron. I'm equally enthusiastic about a stronger guiding role with regard to the company's production and distribution activities in France."

Ivernel has been at Seydoux's side for more than a decade and moved from Paris to head up Pathe U.K. here in 2000.

The company's recent output includes "The Queen," "Volver" and "Crash."

Lacan joined Pathe in 1997 from the French civil service. He became managing director of Pathe Distribution last September.

McCracken worked as a film lawyer before joining public funding agency British Screen Finance. He joined Pathe in the U.K. at the same time as Ivernel in 2000.

The new look management is effective immediately, Pathe said. Industry observers said the move by Seydoux was a vote of confidence for the U.K. operations and its success under Ivernel and McCracken.