WEA Corp. Announces Strategic Reorganization
NEW YORK, NY, Dec 20, 2005 (MARKET WIRE via COMTEX News Network) -- WEA Corp., Warner Music Group Corp.'s (NYSE: WMG) U.S. sales and distribution company, announced today a strategic reorganization intended to better position one of the industry's leading music distribution companies to seize opportunities presented by an evolving physical and digital music retail environment and to address its growing mandate within WMG.
Over the past several years, WEA Corp.'s role as WMG's retail sales and distribution arm has grown to include the oversight of its leading independent distribution network, successful incubator initiative, groundbreaking digital-only label, the e-Commerce group, as well as the global management and distribution of WMG's digital assets.
In making the announcement, John Esposito, President and CEO of WEA, said, "It was clear that WEA's expanded mandate required a simplified and more cohesive management structure in order to better coordinate among our various business units and maximize opportunities presented in the rapidly growing digital space. I'm confident these changes will better serve our customers, label partners and their artists, and better situate WEA to fulfill our mission to get the right music in the right place at the right time."
The new WEA structure will encompass four distinct units, each of which will be led by an experienced WEA executive reporting directly to Esposito.
-- OPERATIONS AND ADMINISTRATION: This function will be led by Mike Jbara who has been elevated to Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. Jbara joined WEA in 1996 and most recently, as Senior Vice President, Production and Media Operations, oversaw all operational aspects of the pre-production, production and distribution of WMG content. -- SALES ANALYSIS, CREDIT AND FINANCE: This function will be led by Matt Signore who has been promoted to Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and General Manager. Signore joined WEA in August 2005 as CFO and was previously CFO and General Manager of Island Def Jam. -- SALES, MARKETING AND DEVELOPING MARKETS: This function will be led by Todd Van Gorp who has been promoted to Senior Vice President, Sales and Marketing. Van Gorp joined WEA in 2003 and most recently was WEA's Vice President, Field Sales for the Northeast, Southeast and Southwest regions. -- E-COMMERCE: E-Commerce continues to be led by Adam Mirabella, Senior Vice President, e-Commerce. Mirabella oversees WEA's team of account managers who coordinate directly with WMG's digital service providers and wireless carrier partners. Mirabella joined WEA Corp. in 2003 after positions at Atlantic Records and Coca-Cola.
Asylum and East West, WMG's incubator labels, and Alternative Distribution Alliance (ADA) will continue to report directly to Esposito and are not impacted by today's announcement.
The company also announced the departure of Executive Vice President, Sales and Marketing, John Madison.
In announcing Madison's departure, Esposito said, "John has been a valued member of the WEA team, as well as a longtime friend and trusted advisor. While we're sad to see him go, I'm happy he'll be joining our mutual friend and former colleague, Jim Caparro at Entertainment Distribution Company (EDC). We wish John the best of luck in his new endeavor."
Madison's position will not be filled, and there will be no staff reductions as a result of today's announcement. The changes announced today are effective immediately.
About WEA Corp.
WEA Corp. was the first major music distribution company in the U.S. and has continued to set the standard for sales and marketing in the music industry for more than thirty years. In addition to the Warner Bros., Elektra and Atlantic labels, WEA distributes audio and video releases from Rhino Entertainment, Asylum Records, Word Entertainment, Time-Life Music, Warner Music Latina and Curb Records, as well as several other labels. WEA Corp.'s e-Commerce department works with online and traditional retailers for all commercial, digital and wireless transactions on behalf of WMG's U.S. labels. The department develops and delivers sales and marketing programs to promote WMG's artists to online retailers and other partners.
Headquartered in New York, WEA Corp. has regional offices in Atlanta, Los Angeles, New York and Minneapolis.
Warner Music Group (WMG) became the only stand-alone music company to be publicly traded in the United States in May 2005. With its broad roster of new stars and legendary artists, Warner Music Group is home to a collection of the best-known record labels in the music industry including Asylum, Atlantic, Bad Boy, Cordless, East West, Elektra, Lava, Maverick, Nonesuch, Reprise, Rhino, Sire, Warner Bros. and Word. Warner Music International, a leading company in national and international repertoire, operates through numerous international affiliates and 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.
Warner Music Group
SOURCE: Warner Music Group