Vivendi Universal chairmanJean-Rene Fourtou will leave his post this spring he affirmed Thursday during apress conference to report the company's 2004 results.
Fourtou took over the reinsof Vivendi Universal from controversial former chairman Jean-Marie Messier whowas forced out in mid-2002. Under Fourtou's stewardship, the company has soldoff many of its assets, notably Vivendi Universal Entertainment which includesUniversal Studios and whose sale to General Electric was finalized last year.
For the first time in years,Vivendi is back in the black with profits of Euros 754m
The former Aventis CEO willstep down after the next scheduled general assembly in April, turning thingsover to his second in command Jean-Bernard Levy.
Among Vivendi's remainingassets, the Canal Plus Group saw its revenues rise by 4% in 2004 to Euros 3.470billion while its operating income skyrocketed by 94% to Euros 184 million.Fourtou hinted that Canal Plus and the Lagardere Group, which is alreadyinvested in Canal Satellite, could get even chummier in the near future thoughhe did note that it was "out of the question to sell Canal."