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Marathon Media co-founder exits

David Michel, co-founder and general manager of Zodiak Media’s French prodco Marathon Media, is stepping down 13 years after helping to establish the company.

Michel’s departure follows that of CEO Vincent Chalvon-Demersay, who exited in November, selling his stake in the company back to Zodiak as part of the move. The pair co-founded Marathon Media in 2001.

It also comes after the announcement last week that Laurent Boissel, Zodiak Media’s chief financial officer, will be leaving shortly.

Boissel joined Marathon as head financial honcho in 2007, a year before Italy’s De Agostini acquired the company, then Scandinavia’s Zodiak the year after, bringing the businesses together.

Zodiak’s new CEO Marc-Antoine d’Halluin remains Marathon Media’s acting chief following Chalvon-Demersay’s departure and a spokeswoman said the plan for the firm would be clarified in the near future.

Marathon Media is bets know for the series Totally Spied and while the French animation is going through something of a shake-up with Lagardère Entertainment pulling out of the sector plus Method Animation, Onyx Films and Chapter 2 merging. Only last month, Moonscoop was sold off.

The Zodiak spokeswoman said that Marathon Media was staying in the game, however, and had a number of projects in development. Its latest ongoing production is Get Blake, produced for Nickelodeon US and International, and local kids’ net Gulli.

D’Halluin said in a statement: “Marathon Media is one of the group’s major companies and, owing much to David Michel’s talent, has created international hits which continue to contribute to the success of Zodiak Kids even today.

“I wish him every success in his future endeavours. I have every confidence in Ambroise Delorme, COO Marathon Media; Eryk Casemiro, chief creative officer of the company; and the Marathon Media staff to pursue the ambitious ongoing developments and create tomorrow’s greatest animation hits.”

Michel added: “The launch of Marathon Media with Vincent Chalvon Demersay has been a great adventure and the decision to leave was a difficult one. I will continue to work alongside the Marathon Media team until March 31 to ensure a smooth transition towards our partners worldwide and internal teams.”

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