NEW YORK — Helen Murphy has been named exec VP and chief financial officer of Warner Music Group, effective Monday.
Murphy, who comes to Warner’s music unit from the exec suite of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, will replace financial chief Jerome N. Gold, who is expected to stay on at Warner as a consultant and help Murphy get acclimated to her new role.
Murphy will oversee finance, human resources, business development, information technology and real estate operations for Warner Music Group, which includes such label imprints as Elektra, Atlantic and Reprise.
She said her experience at Martha Stewart — whose businesses includes online, TV and print properties — will be useful in helping Warner Music integrate itself into the mammoth AOL Time Warner multimedia machine.
“I’ve had a significant amount of experience developing all the Internet operations and strategic relationships at Martha Stewart,” she told Daily Variety. “That will be an asset here.”
Murphy’s arrival coincides with the appointment of Warner Bros. Records president Phil Quartararo to handle the day-to-day operations at Warner Music Group until Tom Whalley arrives from Interscope as CEO of WMG in January 2002.
WMG chairman and CEO Russ Thyret stepped down Wednesday after holding down the top post for 5-1/2 years. Thyret’s 30-year association with Warners began at Warner Bros. Records in 1971 when he was a singles sales manager.
Murphy has close ties to WMG topper Roger Ames from her nine-year tenure at Polygram Holding, when Ames ran Polygram Music during the late ’90s. Murphy began her tenure at Polygram in 1990 in the investor relations department and worked her way up to financial chief of the music giant.
“Going forward, Helen will play an important role as we capitalize on the opportunities created by Time Warner’s recent combination with AOL.” Ames said.
Murphy, who was most recently Martha Stewart’s chief financial and administrative officer, shepherded the nascent media empire through its initial public offering in the summer of 1999. Before joining Martha Stewart, exec was chief financial officer at paper producer Westvaco.
(Phil Gallo contributed to this report.)