Former Sony exec will serve as COO-corporate

Continuing a round of exec changes at the No. 3 U.S. music firm and eyeing future growth opportunities, Warner Music Group has appointed Rob Wiesenthal to the newly created position of COO/corporate.

In his new role, former Sony Corp. exec Wiesenthal’s responsibilities will include global corporate development of WMG’s recorded music and publishing operations, identifying new business model and driving growth through investments and acquisitions. He will report to WMG CEO Steve Cooper.

Cooper said in a statement, “There are few media and technology executives of Rob’s stature and expertise. His commercial acumen, commitment to innovation and wide-ranging experience make him a superb addition to our talented management team. Rob will be a valuable resource as we enhance and grow our position as a progressive music company.”

From 2000 on, Wiesenthal held a variety of key roles at Sony, including executive vp-CFO of Sony Corp. of America, executive vp-chief strategy officer at Sony Entertainment Inc. and group executive at the parent company. He was also a member of Sony Pictures Entertainment’s operating committee and a board member at Sony Music Entertainment and Sony Ericsson.

He led the 2008 Sony buyout of Bertelsmann’s stake in the Sony-BMG music joint venture and was a player in the acquisition of EMI Publishing by a consortium of investors and Sony/ATV Music.

He was previous involved in development and acquisitions as managing director-head of entertainment and digital media for the investment banking arm of Credit Suisse First Boston, advising on News Corp.’s purchase of New World Communications and Sony Pictures Entertainment’s purchase of Telemundo.

Wiesenthal’s arrival is the latest in a round of recent changes at WMG. Earlier this month, Warner/Chappell Music chairman-CEO was handed responsibility for management of Warner Bros. Records’ senior staff (Daily Variety, Dec. 7), after taking on oversight of WMG’s publishing and catalog division in November (Daily Variety, Nov. 8). WMG recorded music chairman Lyor Cohen ankled the company in September (Daily Variety, Sept. 25).

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