In a milestone move, the board of Mediapro Group, has approved the departure of managing partner Jaume Roures, the best known face of the company who, since co-founding Mediapro in 1994, was instrumental in building the company into Spain’s biggest independent international film-TV player.
Taxto Benet, the other head of Mediapro, remains as company president and CEO; all other key figures at Mediapro remain in their posts, including Juan Ruíz de Gauna, director general, Laura Fernández Espeso, CEO of The Mediapro Studio, and Carme Anglada, head of communication.
Roures’ exit comes at request of Mediapro majority shareholder Southwind Group, which controls over 80% of the group and minority shareholder WPP, according to a written statement issued Friday by Mediapro.
Announcing that “the void that Jaume leaves in the group is immense,” Benet also underscored Friday that “the inspiration and legacy that Jaume leaves behind are an irreplaceable part of Grup Mediapro’s DNA and will always be present in this company’s work, reminding us that people come first, that we should never give up on our ideas and dreams.”
At the same time, he added, all Mediapro management and Benet himself are “totally aligned with the group’s shareholder partners, Southward and WPP” and “wholeheartedly share the company’s future vision.”
A driving force behind Mediapro’s dramatic expansion, Roures guiding the company into sports rights and event production, clinching a move to represent Spanish league rights in international in 1998. Parallel to this, and with Roures passionate backing, Mediapro drove into the production of high-profile auteur titles such as Fernando León de Aranoa’s 2002 “Monday’s in The Sun,” Isabel Coixet’s “The Secret Life of Words” in 2005, and Woody Allen’s “Midnight in Paris,” which won an Academy Award for Penelope Cruz in 2009.
Launching new Spanish broadcast network La Sexta in 2006, which it sold to Atresmedia six years later, Mediapro’s revenues escalated as it bought into providing production services for events around the world and the price and value of sports rights escalated.
Having produced “Locked Up,” which joined 2Grand Hotel and Velvet as one of the early Spanish series to breakout out in international as an original, Mediapro co-produced Paolo Sorrentino’s 2016 Jude Law starrer “The Young Pope.” In March 2019, Mediapro collected its content companies under one umbrella, The Mediapro Studio, whose growth plans, leveraging Mediapro’s 54 offices around the world, were outlined and reasoned by Fernández Espeso at a Media Mastermind keynote at last week’s Mipcom as she confirmed Season 3 of “The Head,” Mediapro’s most successful series ever, sold to over 90 territories.