LONDON — Max Hole is to step down from his role as chairman and chief executive of Universal Music Group International, effective immediately. The company’s regional heads, outside the U.S., will now report directly to UMG chairman and CEO, Lucian Grainge.
In January, Hole contracted encephalitis, as a result of which he has suffered some memory loss. “While he is making progress towards a recovery, a full resumption of his responsibilities is not possible at this time. As Max’s recovery continues, he and the company will discuss projects in which Max will have continuing involvement,” the company said in a statement.
Grainge said: “Max Hole is one of the most talented and accomplished executives to have ever worked in the music business, with an undying passion for music. He has been one of our industry’s most effective champions, opening new markets and creating opportunities for artists and fans everywhere. Max’s contributions to Universal will be forever a part of the fabric of this company and our industry, and he leaves with our deepest gratitude and respect.”
Hole joined UMGI in 1998 as senior VP, marketing and A&R. In 2004, he was promoted to executive VP and subsequently added responsibility for digital, strategic marketing and commercial affairs, as well as Asia Pacific and Nordic/Central/Eastern Europe. He was appointed COO of UMGI in 2010 and in 2013 was appointed chairman and CEO of UMGI.
He began his music industry career as an independent artist manager and record producer. In 1982, he joined Warner Music UK as A&R manager, rising to managing director of WEA Records and, in 1990, founding managing director of East West Records. During his 16 years at the company, he was involved with such artists as Simply Red, Tori Amos, Pretenders, Sisters of Mercy, Chris Rea and the Corrs, among many others.
Earlier this year, he was honored by the U.K. government for his service to the music industry with the title Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire.