Jean-David Blanc and Patrick Holzman, the two founders of film ticketing business AlloCine, quit Vivendi Universal subsidiary CanalNumedia on Thursday.
CanalNumedia also increased its stake in AlloCine from 75% to 100%, but did not disclose the value of the deal.
Blanc and Holzmann will serve out their notice periods with CanalNumedia, but remain linked to the group as exclusive consultants for the next year.
The departures come at a time when AlloCine, which operates telephone and web-based ticketing, is expanding beyond France and Belgium into Switzerland and Europe's English-language markets. In December it bought Filmline, an Ireland-based company which operates interactive booking services on behalf of exhibitors (ScreenDaily, Dec 18).
The latest developments were presented as part of a wider reorganisation at internet subsidiary CanalNumedia. The company will now be run as four divisions: brands, cinema related sites, sports and international business-to-business. Patrick Escande, Philippe Dana and David Ausseil have been appointed to run the first three sectors, with current chief Antoine Villeneuve focusing on international B-2-B.
Dana, a former weatherman who became a successful presenter on Canal Plus, takes over the film related operations including AlloCine. For the last three years he was Alain De Greff's deputy at Canal Plus' programmes division, with a responsibility for special events.
The film activities are expected to include a film portal, AlloCine, Allocine TV and a general film database drawing on information gathered by Canal Plus over its 15-year existence. Management of Allocine's activities outside France will be handled through the international division.
CanalNumedia first bought a 25% stake in AlloCine exactly a year ago and upped its holding to 75% in October 2000. At the time, observers estimated that the transaction valued the business at FF200m. AlloCine last month launched AlloCine Vision, a video-jukebox allowing the streaming of 8,000 film related programmes, clips and reports.