Case ID 18-1089
Published 2018
Industry Code 411
Subject General management

Abstract This case deals with leadership issues encountered by Luc Besson, both as a movie director and as CEO of EuropaCorp. Luc Besson is a French movie director, famous for Le Grand Bleu (1988), Nikita (1990), Leon The Professional (1994) and The Fifth Element (1997). In 2000, he founded his own production company, EuropaCorp, with a friend producer, Pierre-Ange Le Pogam. EuropaCorp grew to be one of the biggest European studios: they have produced more than 110 films, including 8 of France’s 20 highest-grossing movies internationally, led by Lucy ($463 million), Taken ($226.8 million), Transporter 3 ($108 million) and Transporter 2 ($85 million). Luc Besson is a unique mix in France: he’s a successful self-made man, both a businessman and a movie director. As a director, he’s known to be demanding and ambitious, but also efficient and energetic because he knows what he wants. As a producer, he’s very talented at finding potential in movies, and at making them with modest budgets, in comparison to Hollywood. His major advantage is that, being a director himself, he knows how to make movies, and how it works. However, his main strength might also be his biggest weakness: confident as an accomplished director and producer, he became overconfident in his management of EuropaCorp. One by one, his business partners left: from the cowriter to his first movie, to his friend and cofounder Pierre-Ange Le Pogam, until the following CEOs. Today, Luc Besson is alone at the head of EuropaCorp: both chairman of the board and interim CEO, he needs to decide for the future of his company, and the last financial results were not good: after a loss of $136 million for 2016/2017, the company posted a $83 million loss for the first half of 2017/2018.
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Teaching Note Yes