EMI Latin prexy Jose Behar has been given CEO stripes by parent EMI. The added title makes Behar the music industry’s highest-ranking Hispanic, and the only CEO of a Latin music label within the big six record congloms.

The nod comes on the heels of Behar inking a lucrative new five-year contract with EMI (Daily Variety, Sept. 17) that recognized his role in making the label the market-share leader among Latin music providers.

“I’m grateful that EMI has recognized my efforts,” Behar said. “But it’s also a recognition … that Latin music is becoming a stronger business each year. I also have a tremendous team with which I share this honor.”

Under Behar’s leadership, EMI Latin has landed 17 No. 1 hits by such artists as Jon Secada and the late Selena. Behar is also credited with recognizing early the influence Latin music would have in the marketplace and made key acquisitions to solidify the label’s top ranking.

Behar bowed EMI Latin in 1989 as its veep and G.M. after exec stints at CBS Records and A&M Records.

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