Sony Announces Management Reorganization
December 2, 2005 at 4:09 PM (PT)
After a positive year for SONY's AMERICAN DIVISION, which generated about $120 million in '05 following steep loses in the previous two years, a sweeping reorganization at the SONY side of the SONY BMG joint venture was announced today.
Earlier in the day, SONY MUSIC LABEL GROUP Pres./CEO DON IENNER was quoted in the NEW YORK TIMES as saying, "We're moving from a position of strength. When you have momentum, it's the right time to make these kinds of important changes -- particularly with people who share an intensity of purpose."
We're moving from a position of strength. When you have momentum, it's the right time to make these kinds of important changes -- particularly with people who share an intensity of purpose
Highlights of the changes include:
-- SONY MUSIC LABEL GROUP Pres./CEO DON IENNER hands off Pres. duties to COO MICHELE ANTHONY.
Commenting on this appointment, IENNER said, “Giving MICHELE half my title is the perfect way to recognize that she is a true partner who has been a major force behind the success stories at all of our labels. Over the seventeen years that MICHELE and I have known each other, she has repeatedly taken a leadership role in major events affecting both the company and the industry -- her support and guidance were central to building the SONY MUSIC LABEL GROUP.”
Said ANTHONY, “From the moment I met DONNIE, I knew we were likeminded and shared a passion and vision for our artists and for what would later become the SONY MUSIC LABEL GROUP. There are so few individuals who have shaped our industry in the way DONNIE has that it is truly an honor to be his partner and friend. I’ve learned so much from him. One of his many outstanding talents is his ability to provide the executives who lead our labels with an intensity of purpose, as they work toward a common goal of lasting success. I am so excited to be working with the most important labels and artists in the history of recorded music.”
In addition to her Pres./COO role, ANTHONY will continue in her position as EVP of SONY BMG MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT, where she plays a role in the company’s industry and government relations and in representing SONY BMG on a range of legislative and legal issues. In this capacity, she will continue to report directly to ANDY LACK, CEO of SONY BMG MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT.
-- COLUMBIA Chairman WILL BOTWIN resigns, and is replaced by EPIC President STEVE BARNETT. STEVE GREENBERG will continue as Pres. of COLUMBIA RECORDS.
“I met STEVE (BARNETT) over a decade ago when he was the manager for AC/DC and we were working together on the soundtrack for LAST ACTION HERO. We quickly became friends,” commented SONY BMG CEO DON IENNER. “STEVE came to EPIC while I was running COLUMBIA, and, although the labels competed with each other, nothing got in the way of our friendship.
"Since that time, I’ve watched him become a true leader. It was great to see him realize such incredible success after I made him the head of EPIC, and my respect and admiration for him has continued to grow. With impressive artist development success stories, STEVE has orchestrated an incredible turnaround at EPIC RECORDS and built it into a powerhouse. His creative approach to the marketplace and track record of putting together winning strategies combined with his success at EPIC make him the right executive at the right time to lead COLUMBIA into the next great phase of its evolution.”
Said SONY BMG Pres. and COO MICHELE ANTHONY, “STEVE’s dedication to his artists and employees is absolute. He knows exactly what it takes to assemble an incredible team. STEVE delivered amazing results at EPIC. He is the consummate music executive -- there are few people in this business who are more focused on artist development and team building.”
BARNETT commented, “COLUMBIA is one of the most prestigious names in this business, and I thank both DON and MICHELE for the opportunity to contribute to its rich heritage. I look forward to working with the label’s fantastic artists, many of whom have made COLUMBIA their home for their entire career. It will also be great to work with the many talented executives on the COLUMBIA team, as well as to expand the audience of the label’s amazing roster of superstars.”
-- COLUMBIA EVP/Promotion & Marketing CHARLIE WALK has been upped to President of EPIC.
“CHARLIE brings incredible drive, creativity and determination to his work,” commented IENNER. “I first met CHARLIE over eighteen years ago during his earliest days in the industry when he was working as a college rep for the company. I was so impressed with his potential that I quickly brought him up through the ranks at COLUMBIA. He has done a stand-out job, and I’ve never seen him settle for second best. It gives me great pleasure to have seen CHARLIE go from putting up posters to heading up one of our labels. I know his dedication to excellence, insistence on success, and natural abilities as a leader make him the right choice to capitalize on EPIC’s many successes, and guide the label into the future.”
“CHARLIE is someone who is willing to climb mountains for his artists and his employees, and that enthusiasm has earned him the respect of the entire industry,” commented MICHELE ANTHONY. “I look forward to working with him as we continue to develop the team. I am excited to see him take this next step and I know he’s going to do a great job at EPIC.”
“Taking the reigns at EPIC is a tremendous opportunity for me. STEVE BARNETT has created the perfect environment to nurture artists and has built a great organization with highly skilled and committed executives at every level,” commented WALK. “I’d like to thank both DON and MICHELE for giving me this amazing opportunity. DON has been my mentor for nearly two decades, and I’m grateful for the support and guidance he has given me. In working with MICHELE so closely over the years, it has been terrific to find that we have a shared vision for the development of the labels and a mutual passion for our artists. I know that by all of us working together we can make important contributions to EPIC’s amazing legacy.”
-- SONY Urban GM LISA ELLIS has been promoted to SONY Urban President.
“Since LISA joined COLUMBIA nearly ten years ago, I have watched her grow through different jobs and become one of the most effective executives in the industry,” commented IENNER. “When I needed to name a new head of Urban, there was no one else I even considered. She completely turned around the division in just 18 months, and built it into a powerhouse that works closely with both COLUMBIA and EPIC.”
“Since taking the leadership role at SONY URBAN, LISA’s leadership, creativity, energy and passion have made her a major force in both the company and the industry,” said ANTHONY. “This is a well-deserved promotion for all that she has accomplished in such a brief period of time. She has an amazing rapport with her artists, as well as with her team, and the results speak for themselves.”
“DON and MICHELE have created an environment in which we are all encouraged to contribute, team work is highly valued, and results are rewarded,” commented ELLIS. “This is an organization that has all of the creative resources to help artists realize their goals. I am gratified for the opportunity to grow and develop the Urban division and to continue our collaboration with COLUMBIA and EPIC.”
-- SONY MUSIC LABEL GROUP EVP/Sales TOM DONNARUMMA has been named GM of COLUMBIA RECORDS, and will report to COLUMBIA Chairman STEVE BARNETT. This is a return to the label for DONNARUMMA, who at one time served as SVP/Sales & Retail Marketing at COLUMBIA.
“It’s great that TOM is coming back to COLUMBIA,” commented BARNETT. “He has a long and impressive history with the label, and great relationships with employees, as well as with artists and their management teams. We worked together at EPIC, and I came to deeply respect TOM as a true music guy who made major contributions to our success. With his considerable experience in sales, retail, marketing, and his track record in the digital arena, TOM will be an essential player as we continue to expand the reach of our artists and projects."
“I’m excited to be working with STEVE, and looking forward to rejoining the team at COLUMBIA,” commented DONNARUMMA. “I’m also grateful to have the opportunity to make new contributions to the growth of the label, and I look forward to facing new challenges with old friends like STEVE, DON IENNER and MICHELE ANTHONY.”
-- SONY MUSIC LABEL GROUP SVP/Finance ALAN PRICE has been named SVP/Finance and Operations of SONY MUSIC LABEL GROUP U.S.
“This promotion recognizes the many contributions that ALAN has already made to the Group,” commented IENNER. “ALAN and I have known each other for a long time, and he has been a key advisor on the Group’s day to day finances and operations. His wise counsel has helped us to set up a solid business foundation for both our individual labels and the Group overall. He brings a unique blend of financial know-how and a passion for music.”
Also at COLUMBIA, EVP Rock/Alternative Promotion & Marketing STU BERGEN exits. Reach out to STU at firstname.lastname@example.org.