Nicholas Carpou has been named the next president of domestic distribution at Universal Pictures.
The studio announced on Wednesday that Carpou, who currently serves as the company's co-president of domestic distribution, will replace longtime distribution head Nikki Rocco beginning on Jan. 1.
Rocco, who announced her retirement in April, will transition into a senior advisory role at the end of the year and stay with Universal until 2016. The 47-year studio veteran was the first woman to become president of a major studio's distribution operations.
Carpou assumed his role as distribution co-president under Rocco in June of 2011. The 37-year veteran of film distribution joined Universal's San Francisco branch office in 1982. Before that, he worked at United Artists Corporation and Associated Film Distribution.
Carpou currently helps oversee the company's theatrical sales in the U.S. and Canada. In his new role, he will be the sole head of domestic distribution.
"He was trained by the best in the business under Nikki and he is a natural choice to lead our domestic distribution division when Nikki retires," Shell added.
In a statement, Rocco echoed Shell's enthusiasm, calling Carpou her "right hand," "trusted friend" and "partner."
"We've been through the ups and downs that come with the territory and I couldn't think of a better candidate to fill this role," she said.