Franck Chorot, who currently heads UIP's French distribution outpost, will join Gaumont this summer, replacing Pierre-Ange Le Pogam as deputy general manager in charge of worldwide marketing and distribution.

Chorot will oversee the activities of three Gaumont subsidiaries including GBVI, a joint venture with Buena Vista, headed by Jean-Francois Camilieri, which handles domestic theatrical distribution; GCTHV, a home video joint venture with Columbia TriStar, headed by Thierry Rogister; and an international sales operation headed by Philippe Rostain. Chorot will also supervise the programming of Gaumont's exhibition circuit, handled by Gaumont Associes.

Chorot will also be involved, at the highest level, "in the overall life and policy" of the French film group.

Gaumont has recently undergone a string of disposals and executive departures which has left observers puzzling over the long-term direction at the French film major. Gaumont sources say the company has decided to concentrate on its strengths: French exhibition and producing hit film titles. Observers are also predicting that Gaumont boss Nicolas Seydoux will soon unveil a restructure of the group to drive this vision forward.