Exec VP exits post at music unit

Warner Music Group exec VP Kevin Liles is ankling the company.

Liles will pursue an entrepreneurial course, but he will maintain a consulting relationship with the diskery.

He joined the firm in 2004, and was instrumental in ramping up so-called “360-degree” deals that give Warner a cut of artists’ merchandising, ticketing, and other revenue sources.

WMG chairman and CEO Edgar Bronfman, Jr., said in a statement, “During his tenure at WMG, he helped to design and implement our industry-leading artist services strategy that in just a few years is already producing meaningful results.”

Liles segued to WMG from Island/Def Jam Music Group, where he rose to exec VP. He oversaw a roster of urban and rock talent that included Jay-Z, Hoobastank, Ludacris, Sum 41, LL Cool J, DMX, and Kanye West.

He was previously named president of Def Jam Music Group in 1998; he rose swiftly through the Def Jam ranks after joining the company as an unpaid intern in 1991.

Liles was brought on board at WMG by former IDJ and Def Jam topper Lyor Cohen, now WMG vice chairman and chairman/CEO of recorded music – Americas and the UK.

Cohen said of his longtime associate, “Even though Kevin’s chosen to pursue a new challenge, we’ll continue to work together in many aspects of the entertainment industry.”

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