Toronto International Film Festival COO Michèle Maheux is to leave after 30 years.

Maheux, who is also Executive Director of the festival, will leave on November 1 2018, after this year’s event and will work closely with the board through summer 2019. Her departure  comes after news that CEO Piers Handling is stepping down with Artistic Director Cameron Bailey adding the duties of co-head. The festival is also set to appoint an Executive Director and co-head to work alongside Bailey.

She has been responsible for overseeing the business operations of the festival and was lauded for the launch of TIFF’s Bell Lightbox.

“During my time with the TIFF Board, I have had the privilege to see Michèle’s meticulous business acumen and people skills up close,” said Chair Jennifer Tory. “She is the epitome of a generous mentor and strong leader and through her hard work has helped to build one of the finest arts organizations in the world. We are most fortunate she has agreed to stay on to assist in transitioning TIFF’s new leadership team.”

“Michèle has been my longtime advisor, confidante and friend,” said Piers Handling, Director and CEO. “She is the engine that has kept TIFF running for decades, and her passion and dedication to film, the arts, and most importantly, the staff, is second to none. We have been in the trenches together for a lifetime and there are no words to express how grateful I am for all her years of support, laughter and impeccable work.”

“I’m excited for the future of TIFF and the new team at the top,” added Maheux. “The organization is on a great path with a new five-year Strategic Plan and a team passionate about the mission and vision. I am honoured to play a role in the organization’s upcoming transition.”