The Works' chief executive,Aline Perry, is to leave the company to pursue an independent career in theindustry, it was announced yesterday. The surprise move comes only a few daysafter the Cannes world premiere of Olivier Assayas's prize winning Clean, which headed up The Work's Cannes slate.

"My departure couldn'tbe more amicable and I am looking forward to continuing the strongrelationships that have been fostered with filmmakers, distributors and valuedcolleagues," Perry said in a statement.

Perry, a former Presidentof PolyGram International, had been CEO of The Works for three years. In thatperiod, she had overseen international sales of such successes as Bend ItLike Beckham, No Man's Land and Whale Rider.

During her tenure, TheWorks (founded in 1986 as The Sales Company in a joint venture between Palace,Zenith and British Screen) became 100% owned by Civilian Content PLC, a companyquoted on the London Stock Exchange.

Joy Wong, currently head ofinternational sales at The Works, looks set to take over the bulk of Perry'sduties.

What is yet to become clearis what part, if any, Thierry Wase-Bailey, the former managing director ofHanway's sales operation, will play in the day to day running of The Works. Itemerged yesterday that Wase-Bailey is being retained by Civilian Content as aconsultant to the Board on the company's financing and sales activities.

Wase-Baileyhas his own sales company Entco which will now operate from within Civilian'sLondon offices. There are no current plans for Civilian to invest in Entco, which iscurrently wholly owned by Wase-Bailey.