In the wake of Max Lousada’s appointment as CEO of Warner’s recorded-music operations, the company continues to make executive moves, with promotions and announcements from three territories over the past week.
In the U.K., the company expanded its A&R activities, upping Paul Samuels to VP of A&R for the Atlantic and East West imprints in the country. He will report to East West president Dan Chalmers and work alongside GM Angie Somerside. Samuels’ first signing to East West is Irish artist Áine Cahill. East West also will launch a new specialist imprint for mainstream entertainers called Warner Music Entertainment.
While a short-lived imprint in the U.S. during the 1980s and ‘90s, in the U.K. East West is home to a diverse roster of artists ranging from Robert Plant and Lindsey Buckingham to new acts like Dusky Grey and Nikhil D’Souza. Warner Music Entertainment will feature acts like Bette Midler, Alexander Armstrong and Sheridan Smith; new music from veteran British acts Boyzone and Cliff Richard is expected later this year.
In Norway, the company announced that Mike Herbrik has been appointed as General Manager, effective immediately. He joined the company in 2014 after stints in branding at Roadrunner Records and Coca-Cola, and most recently was A&R director. He will work closely with artists including Julie Bergan, Kristian Kristensen, Emilie Nicolas, Madden, and Fay Wildhagen and will report to Jonas Siljemark, President, Warner Music Nordics.
Last week, the company announced the launch of Warner Music Middle East, a new wholly-owned recorded music affiliate covering 17 markets across the Middle East and North Africa, an area with a total population of 380 million. The new division is based in the Lebanese capital of Beirut and will be headed by Managing Director Moe Hamzeh, who joins WMG from the Beirut-based video-streaming platform, m.media; Hamzeh began his career in 1998 at Warner’s Lebanese licensee Music Master and went on to stints at Virgin Megastores, Melody Music Management, and his own Temple Entertainment before joining m.media. He will report to Chris Ancliff, WMG’s EVP, Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa.
Warner Music Middle East will cover Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Iran, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates and Yemen. The new operation will focus on the marketing and promotion of WMG’s international artists, as well as growing a local roster of Arabic artists and repertoire and cultivating local brand partnerships.