Alexander van Duelmen, managing director of Kinowelt International, a subsidiary of beleaguered German media concern, Kinowelt Medien, has quit his post suddenly, "by mutual agreement and with immediate effect". Further staff reorganisation is expected to follow shortly.
Van Duelmen had been responsible for masterminding Kinowelt's overseas growth through international partnerships with local outfits. Among these were Kinowelt Hungary, a joint film distribution, home entertainment and TV-licensing venture with Budapest Film, and Kinowelt Bulgaria, a joint venture with the local video company Solaris.
Other partnerships were formed in Poland and Russia last year, and this autumn was set to see a collaboration with the Czech distribution outfit Space Film for theatrical releases in the Czech and Slovak Republics.
Kinowelt International's business affairs manager Ralph Koch will assume van Duelmen's duties, with Anja Uecker handling TV sales, Tom Thiemann theatrical releases, and Zoltan Szarvasi home entertainment.
This latest development comes after an eventful fortnight where the Kinowelt Group offloaded its interests in the Brameier sports merchandising company and distributor Progress-Film as well as folding theatrical distributor Jugendfilm into Kinowelt Filmverleih
In addition, Kinowelt's extensive restructuring programme and its concentration on the core business fields are likely to involve redundancies of more than 50 people, according to Kinowelt management who were expecting the Duesselsdorf-based management consultancy Droege & Comp. to unveil a new business plan on behalf of the company by the end of this week.