Rodolphe Belmer Jettisoned as CanalPlus CEO, Replaced by Maxime Saada

Rodolphe Belmer - H 2015
AP Images

Rodolphe Belmer - H 2015

Vivendi in a statement said Belmer had been "relieved of his responsibilities" by the board.

French media group Vivendi has ousted Rodolphe Belmer as CanalPlus CEO.

Maxime Saada, executive vp of CanalPlus Group and head of pay TV, was promoted on Thursday to replace him after Belmer was "relieved of his responsibilities" by the board, Vivendi said in a statement. In addition, CanalPlus CFO Gregoire Castaing has joined the pay TV channel's management board.

Belmer's ouster comes amid a continuing controversy over the threatened cancelation of the French satirical show Les Guignols de l’Info, where puppets mocks the news of the day. It also follows the CanalPlus Group's supervisory board meeting on Thursday and rubber-stamping the executive suite putsch.

Saada joined the CanalPlus Group in 2004 as director of strategy and joined the management board in 2012, a year before becoming head of pay TV. Vivendi — parent company of StudioCanal, CanalPlus and Universal Music Group — in recent years has looked to expand beyond its telecom roots to becoming a cash-rich international media giant.

It also faces stepped-up competition in Europe from Netflix as the U.S. streaming giant looks to become a leading European VOD provider.