Warner Bros. Records President Dan McCarroll is leaving the company after four years at the label, a rep for the company confirmed on Monday.
Warner Bros. chairman Cameron Strang announced the departure in an email to staff, writing:
“Dan has been integral in evolving our A&R activity, and helping us grow our partnerships with some of the world’s biggest stars, all the while attracting a new generation of talent to the label. Dan has been a fantastic friend and colleague to many of us, and I’m personally grateful to him for all his advice and counsel.”
In his own memo to the staff, McCarroll wrote in part: “The last four years here have been amazing for me. It has been my pleasure and honor to work with some of the greatest artists of all time and to collaborate with the many talented people at WBR.”
McCarroll was not available for comment, but source close to the situation downplayed any controversy and claimed that McCarroll’s contract was up and he’d decided to move on.
His exit comes at a pivotal time for the company. While 10 of the label’s artists have had Top 10 albums in the past 12 months — Michael Buble, Fleet Foxes, Gorillaz, The Head & the Heart, Mac Miller, Mastodon, Prince and Red Hot Chili Peppers, with No. 1 albums from Green Day and Linkin Park — the company’s performance under Strang, an indie-label and publishing veteran who took the helm of the label in 2012, has been uneven and rumors of his departure have ramped up as the October start date of Warner Music Group’s new CEO of recorded music, Max Lousada, approaches.
While a number of promising new acts — including Lukas Graham, Andra Day, Dua Lipa and The Head & the Heart — came into the company under Strang and McCarroll’s watch, much of Warner’s success in recent years has come from long-established artists like Green Day, the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Linkin Park; a fair percentage of its 2016 bump in market share was also due to the deaths of Prince and David Bowie, whose most successful albums are under the label’s umbrella. The company was stricken Thursday by the suicide of Chester Bennington, lead singer of Linkin Park, one of Warner’s biggest acts of the past 20 years.
McCarroll joined Warner as president in December 2013 after serving a similar role with Capitol, where he worked closely with Katy Perry, Capital Cities, Emeli Sandé, Ryan Adams, Sky Ferreira and others. Prior to Capitol, he spent several years as EVP and an A&R rep at EMI Music Publishing. He also spent many years as a touring and session drummer.