Carol Welch is leaving her role as Managing Director of Odeon UK and Ireland, after having served as the head of the AMC-owned cinema major for six years. Welch was also Chief Commercial Officer (CCO) for Europe. Her role will be split, while the search is on for her replacement, said to be in final stages.
Welch is leaving Odeon to become CEO of food distributor AF Blakemore, one of the largest family-owned companies in the UK. Following her departure, Chris Bates is promoted to the role of chief commercial officer, being already UK-European commercial director for Odeon Cinemas Group. He will also join Odeon’s executive committee.
“I would like to congratulate her for everything she has achieved at ODEON over the last six years and thank her for her passion, dedication, and commitment to our colleagues and guests… [She] has made a significant difference to our business.”Mark Way, MD of Odeon Cinema Group
Welch steps down after an intensive period that has seen AMC-acquired Odeon heading up the European operations that encompasses Scandinavia, Germany, Spain and other markets. In total it encompasses over 290 cinemas in nine territories, with over 2,500 screens. Following consolidation and re-organisation into Northern and Southern European operations, with lots of personell changes, Odeon Cinema Group emerged from Covid battered, while the parent company AMC was swept up in the meme stock craze. Carol Welch was named in the Top Women in Global Cinema list for many years running.