Exec will serve as executive vp of A&R

In a rare move from digital retailing to the traditional label biz, iTunes director of global music initiatives Alex Luke has joined EMI Music’s Capitol & Nashville Label Group as exec VP of A&R.

Based in L.A., Luke will be charged with finding and developing new talent. He’ll report directly to label group prexy Dan McCarroll.

At iTunes, Luke launched the “Live From” series at Apple’s retail stores and the iTunes Originals and Single of the Week programs; the latter offered free downloads from developing artists and stoked the careers of acts like Lady Antebellum and the Fray.

Luke joined Apple in 2003 after stints at online retailer Spun.com, Universal and Sony’s ill-fated digital store Pressplay and Napster.

McCarroll said in a statement, “Alex is simply one of the best music people I’ve had the privilege of working with. He has a great understanding of what it takes to have a hit and to sustain success, and he is able to work in partnership with artists to deliver the positive outcomes that they truly deserve.”

Luke’s hiring follows the arrival last week of Downtown Records co-founder Michael Howe as VP of A&R.

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