Shaun Williams, the chief executive of UK producer's alliance PACT, is to stand down from the post in January.

A successor has yet to be appointed. PACT said it would shortly set up an appointments committee to seek a successor to take over in the New Year.

Williams commented: "After three years to the day at the helm, and six years in total at PACT, I feel it will be the right time for me, and PACT, to hand over the baton and seek new challenges. By announcing my departure in this way I hope to allow the smoothest possible transition to my eventual successor."

PACT also announced that Beryl Vertue of Hartswood Films has been re-elected unopposed for a third and final year as PACT chairman for 2001, while Archer Street's Andy Paterson has been re-elected unopposed as vice chair (film). Eileen Gallagher of Shed Productions takes over from Wall to Wall's Alex Graham as vice chair (television).

Vertue said: "Shaun has given fantastic service to PACT during the last six years, and the independent sector's debt to him is simply enormous. Council, and I, will be very sorry to lose him."