Warner/Chappell Chairman And CEO Les Bider To Step Down
Warner Music Group (WMG) announced today that Warner/Chappell Chairman and CEO Les Bider has decided to step down following the appointment of a successor and a transition period. A successor to Bider will be announced at a later date. Bider has been Chairman of Warner/Chappell, the music-publishing arm of Warner Music Group, since the 1987 merger of Warner Bros. Music with Chappell Music.
In making the announcement, Edgar Bronfman, Jr., WMG's Chairman and CEO said, "Les has been at WMG since the creation of its publishing division, providing strong and steady leadership for more than two decades. During that time, he's presided over that division's growth from a $30 million a year operation to a business generating in excess of a half-billion dollars. He's brought a vision to the business and a passion for the music that has taken Warner/Chappell to the very top of the music publishing industry. We will miss his presence and his leadership and wish for him continued great success."
Bider said, "After 25 rewarding years running Warner Music's music publishing division, I have elected not to extend my agreement when it expires at the end of the year. I wanted to make my intentions known this early in order to ensure a smooth leadership transition. I intend to work closely with my successor to help create a seamless passing of the baton and to do everything I can to ensure the continued prosperity of a company I have known and loved for the past quarter-century."
Bider's music-business career began after he launched his own CPA firm in 1975 with an extensive entertainment-business clientele. That led to his being named Chief Financial Officer of Warner Bros. Music in 1981. Two years later he added the title of Chief Operating Officer. In 1987, Bider played a significant role in the merger of Warner Bros. Music and the Chappell and Intersong Music Group, which created Warner/Chappell Music, Inc. He was named Chief Executive Officer of the new company and the following year added the title of Chairman.
During his years with the company, Bider steered the publishing division into significant profitability, overseeing Warner/Chappell's worldwide operations. Not only did he engineer the acquisition of Chappell, Intersong Music, Mighty Three Music and music education company CPP/Belwin, but he also signed a record-breaking publishing deal with Elton John and Bernie Taupin. During his tenure, Warner/Chappell's roster of artists came to read like a Who's Who of contemporary music, including such artists as Madonna, Dido, Radiohead, Sheryl Crow, Nickelback, Dr. Dre, Missy Elliott and others. In total, Warner/Chappell controls publishing rights to more than a million copyrights in a broad array of musical genres.
About Warner/Chappell Music
Warner/Chappell Music, Inc., WMG's award-winning music publishing company, has a catalog of more than one million copyrights worldwide. These range from standards like "Happy Birthday," "Rhapsody in Blue," "Winter Wonderland," and the songs of Cole Porter and George and Ira Gershwin, to the contemporary music of Madonna, Radiohead, Nickelback, Dr. Dre, Dido, Sheryl Crow, Missy Elliott and others. The company is often a first stop for A&R executives and record, feature film and television producers and others who need to acquire song rights.
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.