Peter Poon has quit Hong Kong studio, Media Asia where he was deputy general manager and took particular responsibility for international distribution.

The surprise move is the second high-profile departure at Media Asia since the summer. Earlier, chief executive Thomas Chung was shifted away from day-to-day management of the group to concentrate on production of large projects, such as the Michelle Yeoh-produced The Touch. He subsequently left the group for Yeoh's Mythical Films.

The group is not expected to be deflected by Poon's departure. It is ramping up its 2002 production slate, has sufficient library and, thanks in part to Poon and Chung, an international distribution network.

Poon, who has been with the group for five years, is known to want to shift towards production in an executive role. "I'm not in a hurry, I hope to have something to announce by Chinese New Year," he said.