The Chief Executive of TV production company Endemol, Joaquim Agut Bonsfills, has resigned for "personal reasons". Big Brother producer Endemol, originally a Dutch company and still based in Hilversum, is 75% owned by the Spanish company Telefónica. A spokesman for Endemol said that Mr Agut had become fed up with travelling between Hilversum and his home near Barcelona. He added that the announcement came as a complete surprise, and the company has no idea what Mr Agut's plans are. The company says it hopes to find a new Chief Executive in the near future.

The announcement has increased rumours that Telefónica is planning to sell Endemol. It originally bought 100% of the company, but at the end of last year nearly one quarter of the shares were floated on the Amsterdam Stock Exchange.

Mr Agut's arrival two and a half years ago came amidst a period of turmoil at Endemol. He was named by Telefónica as the replacement for Dutchman Aat Schouwenaar, who had worked at Endemol for many years, but was at the helm for just six months. John de Mol, co-founder of Endemol, also left the company around that time.

Also yesterday, at the annual shareholders' meeting, Endemol named a new financial director, Jan Peter Kerstens, who only joined the company last October.