Mike Goodridge is to step down from his position as CEO of London-based finance, production and sales company Protagonist Pictures. The well-respected and much-liked industry veteran will remain on the board of directors of Protagonist and will continue to work with the management on growth and strategy. He will announce his future plans shortly.

“It’s been a bittersweet decision to leave the day-to-day running of Protagonist Pictures behind,” said Goodridge. “I am passionately invested in the brand, the films and the outstanding team of people but feel that for my personal progression, it is time to change direction. I am delighted that I am able to remain involved on the board of directors and have a voice in the future growth of the company.”

Protagonist Chairman Nigel Williams said: “The Protagonist business has grown under Mike’s guidance and its position in the marketplace has never been stronger. Whilst we are sad to see Mike step down, the strength and depth of the team that he has built around him ensures that the business will continue to flourish.”

Goodridge joined Protagonist as CEO in August 2012 and has since grown the company into a world-class sales brand. Under his leadership, the company has been involved in a wide range of hit titles including Love & Friendship, Hunt For The Wilderpeople, American Honey, Lady Macbeth, The Lobster, God’s Own Country, Maggie’s Plan, ’71, Testament Of Youth, Paris Can Wait and Free Fire.

The Protagonist board will look to announce his replacement in the coming weeks. Senior management team includes COO Dimitra Tsingou, Head of Worldwide Acquistions Dave Bishop, Head of Worldwide sales Vanessa Saal and Head of Marketing Bridget Pedgrift.

Protgonist is coming off of the back of a bumper Cannes with world premieres of Sean Baker’s The Florida Project, Chloe Zhao’s The Rider (winner of the Art Cinema Award in Directors Fortnight) and Michel Franco’s April’s Daughter (winner of the jury prize in Un Certain Regard). Its current slate includes Kristoffer Nyholm’s Keepers, Clio Barnard’s Dark River, Richard Loncraine’s Finding Your Feet, Amma Asante’s Where Hands Touch and Pawel Pawlikowski’s Cold War.