Pierre Lescure will step into the shoes of Gilles Jacob, now the president of the Cannes Film Festival. Jacob will bid adieu soon after this year's festival in May.
The French festival said Lescure was elected in a board of directors meeting Tuesday. He will take office in July. The 68-year-old Lescure co-founded French pay-TV operator Canal Plus in 1984.
Lescure's nomination has been welcomed by the French film industry. He is known to be close not just to French, but also international talent, and he is fond of Hollywood, an interest that will go well with Fremaux's thinking.
Jacob, a movie critic and director, has been synonymous with the festival since 1978, when he was appointed managing director, and until 2001, when he assumed the presidency, he steered the 12-day event through several rough patches, ultimately making it into arguably the world's most important, most glamorous film festival.
In 2001, Thierry Fremaux took over as the festival's artistic director and general-delegate, a position he still holds.
Jacob's immense knowledge of European auteur cinema shaped the very identity of the Festival. However, Fremaux's entry also helped Cannes to play host to high-profile movies. He is also credited with getting the American cinema back into the French Riviera.
(Gautaman Bhaskaran has covered the Cannes Film Festival for well over two decades.)