U.K. music division gets a new voice

LONDON — Rob Stringer, the younger brother of Sony Corp. of America chairman-CEO Howard Stringer, has been appointed chairman-CEO of the new Sony BMG Music Entertainment, U.K. and Ireland.

The move ends speculation about the senior hierarchy of the merged companies in the U.K., with the younger Stringer reporting to Tim Bowen, who has been given responsibility for Sony BMG in the U.K., Canada, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.

Bowen had been BMG U.K. and Ireland chairman, while Stringer was chairman of Sony Music U.K. and Ireland.

With the two U.K. companies believed to be looking to share office space, one of Bowen and Stringer’s first tasks will be to determine who stays and who goes in the new setup. But that may be eased by the fact that the execs know each other well — they also worked together at Columbia at the beginning of the ’90s, when Stringer headed the A&R team.

“Rob is ideally suited to lead the new U.K. company,” Bowen said in a statement. “He has a complete grasp of the business and a real empathy with artists.”

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