Effective 31 January 2022, Romain Bessi has been appointed CEO of Newen Studios, where he will succeed Bibiane Godfroid.
Newen Studios has more than tripled in size since it was acquired by the TF1 group. As Newen Studios emerges from this expansion phase, Bibiane Godfroid has decided, in agreement with Gilles Pélisson, to free up more time for developing new personal projects.
Romain Bessi, who notably piloted the international expansion of Newen Studios, will take over from Bibiane Godfroid effective 31 January 2022. His main focus will be to further enhance Newen’s growth both in France and internationally, continue to attract and retain the best talents, and strengthen value-creating synergies between Newen group entities.
Romain Bessi joined the Newen group as Managing Director in 2018. He took on an extra role heading up TF1 Studio in 2019, and since the start of 2021 has supervised all Newen Studios operations.
In 2015, the TF1 group decided to invest in production by taking a 70% stake in Newen, and Bibiane Godfroid joined Newen at the same time. She took over as CEO of Newen when the TF1 group bought out the rest of the production company in 2018 – a strategic move, in line with the TF1 group’s determination to play an active role in boosting and funding content creation.
Newen Studios has transformed itself from an all-French production company into one of Europe’s leading producers and distributors, and a major international player in content creation. Newen has a presence in eight countries through its principal subsidiaries: Newen France (France), Newen Connect and TF1 Studio (France, UK), Reel One (Canada, UK, USA), iZen (Spain, UK), De Mensen (Belgium), Tuvalu (Netherlands), Blue Spirit (France and Canada), Ringside Studios (UK), and Flare Film (Germany).
At the same time, Newen Studios has diversified; it is now active across a wide range of genres (drama, TV movies, feature films, documentaries, animation, entertainment) and has considerably expanded its customer base in France and Europe.
Gilles Pélisson, Chairman and CEO of the TF1 group: “I would like to thank Bibiane Godfroid for her exceptional contribution at the helm of Newen Studios over the last three years. Her vision and talent have enabled Newen Studios become an established player in the audiovisual industry, in France and now internationally too. I wish Romain Bessi every success in his new role, convinced that his background, experience and professionalism uniquely qualify him to continue driving Newen Studios forward and strengthen ties with broadcasters and platforms in France and abroad. At a time of heightened competition, Romain Bessi and all his colleagues can continue to count on the active support of the TF1 group.”
Bibiane Godfroid: “During my six years at Newen Studios I have had the privilege of working with great people, exploring new avenues, and creating new content. Thanks to the teams at Newen Studios, both in France and internationally, Newen Studios is today one of Europe’s foremost producers and distributors. I’ve now decided to put my personal goals above my work goals, but I will stay in close touch with the audiovisual industry and its talents. I would like to thank Gilles Pélisson for his unwavering support, and everyone at Newen Studios – especially Romain Bessi, who is taking over from me.”
Romain Bessi: “The last few years have witnessed the transformation of Newen Studios into a dynamic, major established player, with a diversified mix of genres, geographies and activities. Our talents, and their complementarity, are our strength. Together we will further develop the Group, with ambition and kindness, while staying true to our authentic European roots and our core mission: create the best stories and bring them to the rest of the world. I would like to thank Gilles Pélisson for his trust in me, his encouragement, and for having consistently supported Newen Studios on its great journey. And of course, I would particularly like to thank Bibiane Godfroid. We have chalked up some fine achievements and shared some great times, and I hope that she will enjoy more of the same – or even better – in the future.”
A graduate of Neoma Business School and Dublin City University, Romain Bessi began his career as an auditor with Ernst & Young.
In 1997, he joined the Canal + group, where he worked in a variety of roles before moving in 2000 to Canal + Nordic (Sweden), initially as CFO and later as CEO.
Two years later, he took over as CFO first of the Canal + channel in France, and then of the Broadcast division, where he was responsible for all of the Canal + group’s TV channels.
In 2007, he was appointed as Executive Vice President Strategy, Finance & Technical at StudioCanal, and was then promoted to Chief Operating Officer.
Until he left the Canal + group in 2016, he led the European expansion of StudioCanal as it became a major European player in film and drama production and distribution, including among other things direct supervision of all TV production operations.
Romain Bessi joined TF1 group in April 2017 as Head of International Affairs, before moving to the Newen.