Warner Music Group Announces Restructuring
Warner Music Group (WMG) today announced a series of restructuring initiatives aimed at creating a more efficient organization better able to compete in the challenging business environment of today's music industry, including:
· The consolidation of select business divisions of the Elektra Entertainment Group and The Atlantic Group labels, including the Legal and Business Affairs, Finance and Label Sales units. In addition, Lyor Cohen, Chairman and CEO of U.S. Recorded Music at WMG, will serve as interim Chairman of both labels until a final management structure is announced in the near future.
· An approximately 20% reduction in the Company's global workforce, much of which is anticipated to take place within the first month.
Warner Music Group also announced the initial structure of its senior management team. Reporting directly to Edgar Bronfman, Jr., Chairman and CEO of Warner Music Group, will be Lyor Cohen; Paul-Rene Albertini, formerly President of Warner Music International (WMI), who will now run the Company as its Chairman and CEO, with responsibility for all of Warner Music's international companies and affiliates in Europe, Latin America, Asia Pacific and Canada; and Leslie Bider, who will serve as Chairman and CEO of Warner/Chappell Music, one of the world's pre-eminent international music publishing companies. Also reporting to Mr. Bronfman will be all corporate staff, including Helen Murphy, Chief Financial Officer of WMG; Dave Johnson, Executive Vice President and General Counsel for the Company; and Will Tanous, WMG's new Head of Corporate Communications.
WMG is currently continuing its discussions with Roger Ames about a senior management role at the Company.
Atlantic Records founder Ahmet Ertegun will remain with WMG, while Sylvia Rhone, Chairman and CEO of Elektra Entertainment Group; Val Azzoli, Co-Chairman and Co-CEO of The Atlantic Group; and Ron Shapiro, Co-President of Atlantic Records, will be leaving the Company.
Reporting directly to Lyor Cohen will be Tom Whalley, Chairman and CEO of Warner Bros. Records; Scott Pascucci, President, Warner Strategic Marketing; and John Esposito, President, WEA Corp.
"These significant steps to streamline Warner Music Group's operations are essential to the future success of the Company and to the expanding, ongoing opportunities for its people," said Edgar Bronfman, Jr. "While the restructuring necessitates some painful changes, they are vital to creating a more agile organization that will allow us to remain competitive in the rapidly evolving marketplace and to take full advantage of future opportunities. We begin today from a position of strength, and I would like to acknowledge the contributions of Sylvia Rhone, Val Azzoli and Ron Shapiro for making this possible. I am very grateful for all they have done to make WMG one of the world's most respected music companies."
Bronfman continued: "I look forward to working closely with the talented, dedicated and professional group of employees and artists at Warner Music Group as we work together to create the world's most dynamic independent music company."
About Warner Music Group
Warner Music Group, with its broad roster of new stars and legendary artists, is the world's largest privately held independent music company. The company is home to a collection of the best-known record labels in the music industry including Atlantic, Elektra, Lava, Maverick, Nonesuch, Reprise, Rhino, Sire, Warner Bros. and Word. Warner Music International, a leading company in national and international repertoire operates through 37 affiliates and numerous licensees in more than 50 countries. Warner Music Group also includes Warner/Chappell Music, one of the world's leading music publishers, with a catalog of more than one million copyrights worldwide. For more information about Warner Music Group, visit our corporate website at www.wmg.com [ http://www.wmg.com/ ].