Warner/Chappell Music has installed Scott Francis, the former president of BMG Music Publishing’s BMG Songs North America, in a new position one rung below chairman-CEO David Johnson.
Francis will run Warner Music Group’s U.S. music-publishing operations as well as play a key role in Warner/Chappell’s global strategy. Based in Warner/Chappell’s U.S. headquarters in Los Angeles, he will report to Johnson.
Johnson determined that the new position was necessary after working for a year and a half heading the music pub’s U.S. and worldwide operations.
“The U.S. end of Warner was never run as a distinctly separate operation the way France or the U.K. were,” Johnson told Daily Variety. “In essence, I am hiring Scott to replace myself in one of the two jobs I was doing.
“There’s an ever-greater complexity in publishing and the music business thanks to the digital overlay that didn’t exist a decade ago. There’s an awful lot more going on, and that means there’s even less time to do two full-time jobs.”
Hiring, which Johnson said came about through a “normal business revision process,” is the latest in a string of changes at Warner/Chappell. Brian Roberts became chief financial officer in January, and Ann Sweeney was upped to exec VP of digital. Johnson, Roberts and Sweeney all knew or worked with Francis when he was at BMG Songs and Sony/ATV.
During Francis’ tenure at BMG Songs North America, the division created a roster that included Maroon 5, Christina Aguilera, Nelly, Daughtry and the Matrix, among many others.
“In looking for a head of Warner/Chappell’s U.S. operations, we wanted an executive who not only has a deep understanding of songwriters and music publishing but one who also has a vision of how to position a music publishing company to seize the opportunities presented by the industry’s rapid digital transformation,” Edgar Bronfman Jr., chairman-CEO of the Warner Music Group, said in a statement.
An attorney, Francis was president of BMG Songs North America from 2000-07; from 1994-2000, he was VP, business affairs and administration, for Sony/ATV Music Publishing, where he oversaw all aspects of business and legal affairs for the company’s U.S. operations.