Corus Entertainment has confirmed that Nelvana founding partner and co-CEO Patrick Loubert has left Nelvana to become an independent producer. The news comes just over a month after another co-founder, executive VP Clive Smith, left Nelvana to pursue other projects. Michael Hirsh, last of the three original founding partners, remains at the company as CEO. A Nelvana spokesperson denied rumors of management infighting and layoffs are not expected at the company as it has a full production slate of 242 episodes this year. An inside source said that Loubert and another Nelvana employee Steve Hodgins are leaving to start their own company, which apparently will have an exclusive producing deal with Nelvana for the next two years. This did not come as much of a surprise, as Louberts departure had long been rumored. Toronto-based Nelvana is a leading producer and distributor of animated properties and a major player on the global animation scene. Nelvana was purchased by media company Corus Entertainment in September 2000.
Michael Hirsh explains firsthand the recipe for success that has NELVANA's co-productions filling the airways on both sides of the Atlantic and beyond.