Columbia Records president Steve Greenberg will ankle Sony BMG Music Entertainment today in the latest in a string of departures at the conglom (Daily Variety, June 2).
Greenberg had been with the company for only 16 months. He was brought in by Andrew Lack during Lacks’ tenure as CEO. He found an ally in Rolf Schmidt-Holz, who switched jobs with Lack but had several run-ins with Sony Music Label Group chairman and CEO Don Ienner. Ienner and Sony BMG exec veep Michele Anthony ankled the company last week.
Ienner had run Columbia Records for more than a decade, and as he rose on the executive ladder, he still exercised control over Columbia. Greenberg and his predecessor Will Botwin, who was chairman of the Columbia Group, worked in Ienner’s shadow, and some insiders say they were never given the room to make their own marks. When Botwin ankled in December, Ienner promoted Epic prexy Steve Barnett to chairman of Columbia Records Group, bypassing Greenberg.
Greenberg, who discovered Hanson and exec produced the group’s one hit album during his tenure at Mercury, was best known for founding S-Curve Records and inking Joss Stone. He also produced “Who Let the Dogs Out” by Baha Men.
In the wake of last week’s shakeup, there was talk that Greenberg would get a label within BMG. A Sony BMG spokesman would not comment.