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Zodiak switches CFO

Zodiak Media has switched chief financial officer with the incumbent stepping down after six years to be replaced by a former BBC Worldwide and Viacom exec.

Laurent Boissel is relinquishing the CFO post at the Paris-headquartered company in the next few weeks and Salar Farzad, currently global finance director at Macmillan Science and Education, takes over on February 10.

Boissel joined French prodco Marathon as head financial honcho in 2007, a year before Italy’s De Agostini acquired the company, then Scandinavia’s Zodiak the year after, appointing him CFO of the entire consolidated group.

But with Zodiak now under new CEO Marc-Antoine d’Halluin a string of senior management changes have taken place. Earlier this month there was a switch at the top of Italian subsidiary Magnolia and at distribution wing Zodiak Rights.

Farzad was CFO of BBCWW Consumer Products from 2008 to 2012, playing a key role in the integration and restructuring of the UK pubcaster’s 2 Entertain joint venture home video business.

From 2005 to 2006 he was CFO of MTV Networks International in New York and before that spent nine years in finance and planning at EMI in North America.

Boissel was promoted in 2012, adding operating officer to his title but Farzad gets a straight CFO role along with the seat on the board vacated by his predecessor.

D’Halluin said of the changeover: “I’m very happy to welcome Salar on board. He has all the qualities to further consolidate the group, building on his outstanding knowledge of the media sector and his international professional background. I would like to congratulate Laurent for his outstanding achievements in building a solid structure for the group, which leaves us well prepared for growth in the coming years.”

With media stocks high and significant M&A activity anticipated in 2014 across the sector – a potential FremantleMedia acquisition of All3Media on the cards – eyes are also on Zodiak, with d’Halluin yet to spell out his vision for the group.

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