Ted Shugrue has stepped down as CEO and left Envoy Media Partners, the majority partner in Vietnam's largest theatre chain MegaStar Media JVC.

Shugrue is parting ways with Envoy after he decided he would be unable to relocate his family to Vietnam.

He is replaced by Brian Hall, who will be based in Ho Chi Minh City and oversee strategic management of the group's MegaStar Cinemas and MegaStar Distribution operations.

Shugrue was one of Envoy's founding partners and was instrumental in building up MegStar, which Envoy set up two years ago as a joint venture with local company Phuong Nam Corp.

'Ted's tremendous international exhibition and distribution experience have greatly benefited Envoy in its crucial start-up and formative years,' Envoy shareholding principals Don DeVivo and Richard Rosenfield said in a joint statement.

'His relationships in all aspect of this business have truly enabled the company's birth. We are sorry that he could not have relocated and wish him well in his next endeavours in which we are all certain he will find success.

'Brian is an experienced top-level executive in the industry with significant knowledge of not only the film exhibition and distribution businesses, but also long experience in dealing in multiple markets and cultures throughout Asia,' Rosenfield added.

'Combined with already having a strong rapport with our major studio and other distribution partners, we have great confidence that Brian is the right person to lead Envoy and MegaStar into what will be a period of rapid growth for the company'.

Hall previously served as COO of Thailand's Major Cineplex Group PLC and prior to that he worked at IMAX Corporation and Cinema Plus.

Envoy and Phuong Nam Corp set up MegaStar two years ago when Vietnam, a country of approximately 85million, was served by 90 cinema screens.

MegaStar has opened four multiplexes with 30 screens since then and plans to open three more sites with 21 new screens by October 2008.