Warner Music Group has announced the retirement of Ramon Lopez, chairman and CEO of Warner Music Intl. (WMI), effective Dec. 31.

Lopez will still serve as an adviser for the Warner Music Group and will undertake selected projects on behalf of the company in addition to establishing his own offices.

In 1985, he joined WEA Intl., the original WMI company, as vice chairman and co-CEO. Lopez was appointed chairman and CEO in 1987, following the departure of WEA Intl. co-founder Nesuhi Ertegun.

During his career at WMI, Lopez oversaw the opening of WMI affiliates in 17 countries, the acquisition of 16 companies and the name change from WEA Intl. in 1990. He also established WMI’s classical, video and new-media operations and expanded its roster of non-U.S. artists.

Roger Ames, chairman and CEO, Warner Music Group, said, “Lopez’s vision was to create a truly integrated international music company that successfully exploited both local and international repertoire. He has achieved that and much more.”

Ames continued: “All of us will miss his truly personal management style and genuine concern for all his colleagues. But, by retaining his services as part of our management team, we will still benefit from his extraordinary experience, great wisdom and enormous knowledge of the global music business.”

— From wire reports