With a view to ramping up its animation activities, French major Gaumont is expanding the division into the U.S. The company has made key hires of Nicolas Atlan as President of Animation and Terry Kalagian as Vice President, Creative for Animation. Both will be based in LA, although Atlan will his divide time in Paris, working closely with Gaumont President of Sales, Cécile Gaget; Gene Stein, President, Gaumont Television U.S.; and Erik Pack, President of International Distribution.

Gaumont, makers of scripted series Narcos, Hannibal and the upcoming Viva La Madness, Crosshair and Spy City, has animation credits that include F Is For Family and Calimero. This move is designed to push it into features and grow the TV business.

Atlan was previously co-CEO of Splash Entertainment where he produced Kulipari: An Army Of Frogs, which Netflix recently acquired, and the animated feature film Norm Of The North which Lionsgate released. His exec producer credits also include Code Lyoko, Fantastic 4, and Sabrina: Secrets Of A Teenage Witch.

Kalagian is a 20-year industry veteran who was formerly Vice President of Business Development for Rainmaker Entertainment.

Pierre Belaisch, based in Paris, will continue to serve as Gaumont’s President of Animation with a focus on European TV series and will now report directly to Atlan.