The chief executive of the company behind reality TV show Big Brother, Endemol, has quit for personal reasons.
Agut Bonsfills, who has been in the job for two years, handed in his resignation at the Dutch-based production firm's annual general meeting of shareholders.
Although Endemol's supervisory board has said Mr Bonsfills made his decision for personal reasons, it has been suggested that parent company Telefonica is planning to offload the company, which last year posted turnover of £614 million.
The Spanish telecoms giant appointed Mr Bonsfills when they took over Endemol, but last November a 22.3 per cent share of the company was sold off.
However, a statement released by the TV show company reiterated that the chief executive's decision to leave was due to individual circumstances and revealed that they wish to appoint a successor immediately.
"The supervisory board has taken steps to arrange for Mr Agut's succession without delay. The company expects to make a further announcement shortly," Endemol said.
It added that the board members "regret Mr Agut's decision, but respect it and thank him for his valuable contribution and achievements over the last 2.5 years".
Endemol has successfully turned its Big Brother reality TV format into a significant commercial asset, with the show broadcast in over 37 countries.
It has achieved comparable global success with games show Deal or No Deal, fronted by Noel Edmonds in the UK, and horticultural programme Ground Force.