German industry association, Producers AG, is to lose its chief executive Dr. Friedrich-Carl Wachs (pictured), who is to become the fourth board member of Senator Entertainment from April 1.

Wachs, who had headed up the producers group since September 2000, will assume the post of chief operating officer (COO) and deputy to chairman Hanno Huth, with responsibilities for corporate development, corporate communication, investor relations and personnel.

Commenting on the appointment, Huth declared that "a personality like Wachs can provide me with the necessary freedom to dedicate myself again intensively to German and international production".

Huth's decision to also have Wachs serve as his deputy arguably reflects the experiences of some other German publicly listed media companies over the past 12 months where the managers hankered to get back to their roots.

Thus, Constantin Film's Bernd Eichinger decided last March to step down from his post as chairman to devote his energies to being a producer, while Road Movies Ulrich Felsberg took the same path when he exited the post of board member responsible for production at Das Werk in April 2001.

Unlike these two, Huth has not gone as far as giving up his management board responsibilities, but will nevertheless be able to become more "hands on" in production with Wachs as his No. 2.

Meanwhile, the departure of Wachs from the Producers AG will trigger a number of wide-ranging changes which will be officially announced by the grouping's founding shareholders MVB Media Venture Beteiligungsgesellschaft and investment companies of the IKB Deutsche Industriebank and ILB InvestitionsBank des Landes Brandenburg on March 13 (Wednesday).

A producer at one of the Producers AG partner companies told Screen Daily: "the romantic model [of the Producers AG] was enticing. It could have functioned, but it hasn't. Nothing is left of all that was proclaimed as an idea. What was promised to us was not kept".