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Nicoli nixed in EMI executive remix

Terra Firma brings in Roling, Unwin

Eric Nicoli has ankled his position atop EMI as the new owners of the music conglom have installed two of their own officers on the board. Martin Stewart, chief financial officer of EMI Group and EMI Music, has also resigned.

Private equity outfit Terra Firma Capital Partners has allotted top duties at EMI to two of its managing directors, Chris Roling and Ashley Unwin: Roling becomes chief operating officer of EMI Group and CFO of EMI Group and EMI Music; Unwin takes up the role of director of business transformation for EMI Group and EMI Music.

Terra Firma is setting up a governance structure that will see the EMI board report to a new supervisory board to be chaired by Terra Firma CEO Guy Hands. He will be joined by senior Terra Firma execs including managing director Julie Williamson, who will focus on EMI’s strategic business relationships. 

By installing execs with no music business experience, Terra Firma said that the management structure will allow EMI to “benefit from Terra Firma’s experience in strategically transforming businesses and driving operational change.” Initial focus will be maximizing the value of assets in EMI’s publishing business and digital opportunities.

Roling was most recently senior VP, finance, procurement and logistics for Imperial Chemical Industries; Unwin is managing director of talent at Terra Firma and was previously a management consultant with Arthur Andersen and Deloitte Consulting. Williamson, a former banking lawyer in private practice, led the Terra Firma team making the investment in German motorway service operator Tank & Rast.

Roger Faxon will continue in his role as chairman-CEO of music publishing and will remain on the board.

Nicoli, chief exec of EMI Group and EMI Music, was chairman of the company for nearly eight years. He agreed to step down in advance of the stock market d-listing of the group, which should take place Sept. 18.

Prior to joining EMI, Nicoli was the group chief exec of United Biscuits, an international food company.

Without addressing the issue of layoffs, Hands said in a statement, “We will invest in the business to ensure that it grows both organically and by acquisition. The goal is for EMI to be the world’s most innovative and consumer-focused music company and the best home for musical talent.”

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