Former Universal Studios' Bill Sutman has been appointed executive vice president, finance at the Canal Plus group, becoming the first US executive to cross the Atlantic as part of the reshuffling of the top management of Vivendi Universal's film and television division.

Canal Plus Group's chairman and CEO Pierre Lescure stated : "Bill's appointment is an example of how very privileged we are to draw from both companies to create a powerful new leadership team" Sutman's designation follows the appointment of Canal Plus former CFO, Richard Lenormand, as chairman and CEO of StudioCanal, Canal Plus' European studio set-up. Lenormand was himself replacing Vincent Grimond, who has recently re-located to Los Angeles, as senior executive vice president of Universal Studios (now part of the Canal Plus group, under Chairman and CEO Pierre Lescure) and second-in-command to president and COO Ron Meyer.

Meyer stated : "Bill is an extremely talented executive with solid experience, great international industry relationships and a proven track record in all areas of finance. His depth of knowledge of all Universal businesses will be a great asset in his expanded capacity." Sutman will report to the Canal Plus group COO Denis Olivennes.