U Music drums Droz to new chairman post

Move signals reorg

As part of a series of moves that change the structure of Universal Music and Home Video Distribution, the world’s largest music distributor, prexy Henry Droz has been upped to the newly created post of chairman.

In the wake of Droz’s ascension, UMVD exec veep and general manager Jim Urie has become prexy.

Droz, who is widely viewed as the dean of the modern-day music industry’s distribution system, will now focus on UMVD’s strategy and administrative services. He will continue to report to Universal Pictures co-chairmen Brian Mulligan and Stacey Snider, as well as UMG chairman Doug Morris and vice chairman Bruce Hack.

Urie will be charged with overseeing the company’s music sales activities, including the coordination of all sales and distribution efforts for the company.

He will share oversight for homevideo with UMVD exec veep Craig Kornblau, who also became prexy of U’s vid arm in March.

Urie and Kornblau will work together building the front end for the company’s music and video e-commerce activities. They will be responsible for direct account management.

Droz, Urie and Kornblau “have efficiently integrated the selling of video and music product (and have built) the largest and most effective single sales force for entertainment products in the U.S.,” Mulligan said.

Distrib guru

Forty-year industry vet Droz, who joined what was known as MCA Music Entertainment Group more than three years ago in the wake of the appointments of chiefs Doug Morris and Mel Lewinter, is credited with establishing the distribution system employed today by the major music congloms.

Droz led Warner Music Group’s WEA Distribution, the industry’s largest, for 16 years, before segueing to MCA.

Among the big five music congloms, UMG boasts a nearly 30% domestic market share, which it has achieved through expanding its music business in addition to last year’s $10.4 billion acquisition of Polygram.