The reorganization of EMI into what topper Guy Hands terms “a global functional matrix organization” was completed Thursday with the announcement of regional presidents, the creation of two boards and the shift of Roger Ames from A&R to acquisitions.
EMI is substituting two boards for its music management board as part of the restructuring and moving former U.S. chief Ames into an acquisitions role.
EMI Music will be overseen by a 17-member chairman’s board, which EMI executive chairman Hands will lead, and an operating board of 14 people to be run by Chris Roling, who has been given the title of president and chief operating officer.
The chairman’s board will focus on developing a long-term strategy and deal with major topics such as acquisitions. The operating board will deal with all day-to-day business decisions and include functional presidents, regional presidents and support service leaders.
Ames, who has a place on the chairman’s board, will be working with Hands and EMI owner Terra Firma on strategic acquisitions. Until former Universal Music Group exec Nick Gatfield joins the company as the A&R point man for U.S. and U.K. labels, Ashley Unwin will head up North American and U.K. A&R and labels on an interim basis. (Daily Variety, April 17).
“The formation of this board completes EMI Music’s transition to a global functional matrix organization,” Hands wrote in a memo to staff on Thursday.
Hands, whose Terra Firma fund agreed to acquire EMI 11 months ago, has been tweaking the company’s organization since he took over and expects the company to proceed with far fewer artists and a much smaller support staff. With leadership clarified, the company is expected to soon begin pinkslipping 2,000 employees, or one-third of the company’s workforce worldwide.
Named as regional presidents Thursday were Colin Finkelstein (North America), David Kassler (U.K. and Ireland), Jean-Francois Cecillon (Europe, Middle East and Africa) and Adrian Cheesley (Japan, Asia, Latin America and Australia/New Zealand). They have been charged with ensuring the effectiveness of EMI’s local operations.
Besides Gatfield, the functional presidents are Jean-Francois Cecillon (A&R/labels, international), Sam van der Feltz (global marketing), David Kassler (global artist projects), Douglas Merrill (digital business), Ronn Werre (commercial development) and Stephen Alexander (catalog).
Chris Kennedy, a 15-year veteran at EMI, has been promoted to chief financial officer.
“The global functional organization will ensure that we maximize our global reach, leverage, speed and efficiency, while continuing to give our artists the benefit of our strong local presence,” Hands wrote in the memo. “Our staff will be able to draw upon resources from across the company to help you and your creative projects. The company, as a whole, will benefit from a much better flow of information and ideas, thus ensuring you have proper global support.”
EMI’s labels in the U.S. include Capitol, Virgin and Blue Note. This past week, the company had only one title in the top 50, Trace Adkins’ “American Man: Greatest Hits Vol. II.”