Repositions itself as 'rights management company'

EMI has promoted Roger Faxon to group chief exec, overseeing the record and music publishing companies as the troubled major strives to reposition itself as a “comprehensive rights management company.”

The former film industry exec is EMI Music Publishing chairman and CEO, but following a review of EMI’s business he will take on the challenge of trying to pool the company’s assets in an effort to maximize the exploitation of its immense and diverse music catalogs.

Faxon has been at EMI since 1994 working in various senior management roles across the business.

Previously he was exec VP/chief operating officer for George Lucas’ company Lucasfilm.

He also founded movie and TV production business the Mount Co. in 1984, producing features including “Frantic,” “Bull Durham” and “Tequila Sunrise,” before moving to TriStar and Columbia Pictures, where he led the studio’s marketing, distribution, business affairs, physical production and finance departments.

“I am delighted and honored to become group chief executive of EMI, and to be given the responsibility for leading one of the greatest music brands in the world,” said Faxon in a statement. “There is incredible talent and expertise within both EMI Music Publishing and EMI Music, as has been demonstrated by their recent performance.”

He added, “I believe that the two divisions working in concert with one another as a global rights management business, can and will deliver for the artists and songwriters that we are privileged to work with now and in the future.”

The shakeup of senior management will also see EMI executive chairman Charles Allen become an adviser to EMI and its owner Terra Firma. Allen was appointed to the role in March following the surprise departure of Elio Leoni-Sceti.

Stephen Alexander will replace John Birt as chairman of EMI holding company Maltby Capital. Alexander has been a director of Maltby Capital for the past 18 months and was formerly an operational managing director of Terra Firma.

Birt — the former director general at the BBC — will now move on to other Terra Firma assignments.

With the announcement short on details, industry observers speculate that there could be more job cuts at EMI in the months ahead.

One source notes that while the company is determined to have its recorded music and music publishing operations work more closely together, both businesses heavily rely on working with rival companies, as most artists tend to split those deals rather than sign contracts with the same conglomerate.

For its part, EMI stated, “More music is being used than ever before, despite the continued decline in global music revenues.

“As a result, the management structure of EMI is being changed to enable the company to reposition itself as a comprehensive rights management company that can take full advantage of all global opportunities in all markets for music.”

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