Central European Media CEO Resigns

Adrian Sarbu, CEO of Central European Media Enterprises (NASDAQ: CETV  ) (CME), has resigned his position, the company announced today.

CME operates its media and entertainment business in six Central and Eastern European markets with a combined population of 50 million. Those markets are: Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Romania, the Slovak Republic, and Slovenia.

Sarbu has been with the company since 1995 and has been its president, as well as its CEO, since 2009. From 2007 to 2009, he had been the company's COO. While his resignation as CEO is effective today, he will remain employed by CME until Jan. 1 while the company searches for a new CEO.

Sarbu will continue to receive his current salary until his separation date. Also, upon termination, he will receive a severance payment of $5.4 million and all of his outstanding restricted stock units will vest on that date, according to an SEC filing.

In addition, subject to approval of the board of directors, CME will invest up to $3 million in the content business Sarbu intends to launch upon his termination.

Ronald Lauder, CME's founder and chairman, said in the announcement that Sarbu "worked diligently and successfully as CEO to maintain the Company's market leading positions in difficult macroeconomic conditions and a transitional period in the industry." Lauder is also chairman of Estée Lauder International.

CME's largest shareholder, with a 45% stake, is Time Warner.

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