Warner/Chappell CEO quits

HOLLYWOOD — Les Bider will resign as chairman-CEO of Warner/Chappell Music when his deal is up at the end of the year.

A replacement and a transition period are expected to be announced in a few months.

Bider has been chairman of Warner/Chappell, the music-publishing arm of Warner Music Group, since the 1987 merger of Warner Bros. Music with Chappell Music. A CPA, Bider was named chief financial officer of Warner Bros. Music in 1981.

“I wanted to make my intentions known this early in order to ensure a smooth leadership transition,” Bider said in a statement. “I intend to work closely with my successor to help create a seamless passing of the baton.”

When Bider started, the division was pulling in $30 million a year. Warner Music reports that it now generates more than a half-billion dollars annually.

During his years with the company, Bider steered the publishing division into significant profitability, overseeing Warner/Chappell’s worldwide operations. He engineered the acquisition of Chappell, Intersong Music, Mighty Three Music and music education company CPP/Belwin, plus a publishing deal with Elton John and Bernie Taupin. Warner/Chappell’s roster of artists includes Madonna, Dido, Radiohead, Sheryl Crow, Nickelback and Dr. Dre.

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