French director Luc Besson is being replaced as chief executive of EuropaCorp, the film production company he founded, by Axel Duroux, a statement said Saturday.

Duroux will take over as CEO after the US investment fund Vine took a majority stake in the company. 

He will take up the position on September 1.

Besson will stay on in an non-executive position as chairman of the board so he can focus on his work as the company’s artistic director, said the statement.

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Besson has written, directed or produced a string of hits, including The Big Blue, Nikita, Leon and The Transporter films and the Taken series. He founded EuropaCorp in 1999.

But the company struggled to recover from the disappointing performance of the big-budget sci-fi epic Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets (2017) and had to seek new investors.

Duroux currently runs the Paris office of the business consultancy Brunswick and previously worked as a senior executive at the advertising and public relations giant Publicis.

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