Steve Knibbs has been appointed as chief operating officer of UK exhibitor Vue Entertainment. Knibbs will report to Tim Richards, CEO of Vue.
Knibbs joins from United Cinemas International (UCI) where he was senior vice president, Northern Europe.
Former Warner Village UK managing director Melyvn Angell has been tipped by many industry sources to be in line for the top job at UCI.
Knibbs' departure means that UCI becomes the second major UK circuit currently without a chief. Earlier this year Richard Segal quit as chief executive of Odeon.
Knibbs said: "After 16 years at UCI, I am looking forward to being part of Tim's team and to working with them on the many new challenges ahead."
Knibbs has been a Board Member of British Film Council since 2002 and prior to that was on the Executive Board of the Cinema Exhibitors Association from 1993 to 1998.
Vue (pronounced 'view') is the name of a company formed in May 2003 by the acquisition of Warner Village Cinemas by SBC International Cinemas.
The Vue circuit has 384 screens and over 25 million attendances a year.