Spanish television executive Mikel Lejarza has announced that he will leave his post as general director of broadcaster Telecinco to join TV production outfit Grupo Arbol.

Lejarza, 44, who made his resignation public earlier this month (Screendaily, August 6), has been with Telecinco for five years. He was appointed general director in May 1999.

He leaves the network at a prosperous time: Telecinco posted fiscal profits of Euros110.5m in 1999 and dubbed itself "the most profitable [channel] in Europe." Thanks in large part to the huge success of the Spanish version of Big Brother, Telecinco has pulled some of its highest ever ratings this year.

Grupo Arbol encompasses a handful of companies with activities ranging from events and talent management to product placement and market surveys. Its most important holdings are leading Spanish TV production firm Globomedia and Argentinean TV production outfit Promofilm Argentina.

Arbol and Tele5 are both co-owned by multimedia Grupo Correo, which is rumoured to have recruited Lejarza to Arbol.