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MCA fills key o’seas job

Jorgen Larsen has been named president of MCA Music Entertainment Intl., a new position in which the executive will spearhead the company’s expansion of its overseas endeavors.

Larsen, most recently managing partner of Deutsche Schallplatten Berlin, an independent German record company, and a past president of Sony Music’s European operations, will oversee MCA’s existing operations in the United Kingdom, Japan, Germany and Canada while seeking to open new offices.

MCA Music Entertainment Intl. will be based at new headquarters in London and will be hiring additional staff to support the expansion, A&R and marketing. All international managing directors will report to Larsen, who in turn reports to Al Teller, chairman of MCA Music Entertainment Group.

International departments of MCA Records, Geffen/DGC and GRP will continue to report to their labels. Larsen will start July 1.

MCA is the lone major U.S. record distributor without extensive international offices. The company opened its first Japan branch (the second-largest music market in the world with 17% of worldwide record sales) two years ago, then added an office in Germany (the third-largest international market at 9%).

The deal is expected to expand MCA Music Entertainment Group’s locally originated repertoire but will not necessarily affect the future of its international distribution deal with Bertelsmann Music Group, a pact scheduled to expire next year. Industry speculation has long centered on an eventual sale and merger of the divisions of Matsushita-owned MCA and BMG’s music operations.

Teller praised Larsen as “an exceptional music executive with unrivaled international experience. Now, with Jorgen a part of the MCA team, we are ready to realize our goal of opening and operating our own record companies in every major territory in the world.”

Larsen called his new job “an exciting opportunity to drive MCA’s worldwide expansion, particularly when the global consumer has such a thirst for music, not only from American record companies but also from local sources of A&R around the world.”

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