Less than a week before Babelsberg Studios' 90th anniversary on September 16, the German film industry has been rocked by the news of CEO Gabriela Bacher's sudden exit.

Studio Babelsberg Motion Pictures (SBMP) was created last autumn, with Bacher in control of overseeing all media activities of parent Vivendi Deutschland. Bacher brief was to attract "classy films with European sensibilities and American know-how" to the studios.

In an official press statement, Thierry Potok, managing director of the studio's owners Vivendi Deutschland, said that the decision for an "immediate separation" from Bacher had been taken as "the mutual trust for a further collaboration is destroyed."

In addition to his other duties, Potok will now also take over the running of SBMP "until further notice."

"The team of Studio Babelsberg Motion Pictures with Henning Molfenter, Udo Happel and Dirk Wilutzky will continue to look after and negotiate the current projects," Potok stated, pointing out that "the service business of Studio Babelsberg with Gerhard Bergfried at the helm is not directly affected by this decision."