EMI Group’s parent company, Terra Firma, is reportedly in advanced talks with Elio Leoni-Sceti, executive VP of Reckitt Benckiser’s business in Europe, to run its struggling music division.
EMI and Terra Firma chairman Guy Hands is keen to hire the 42-year-old as CEO, even though the Italian has no experience in the music industry.
However, Leoni-Sceti’s entrepreneurial reputation has attracted Terra Firma, while his success in overseeing household brands including Airwick, Finish and Veet, has apparently impressed Hands.
Observers believe that Hands may be trying to line up a CEO who could successfully broker a merger with Warner Music’s recorded music division.
Leoni-Sceti joined Benckiser in 1992 from Procter & Gamble and he has worked in Europe and North America. Crucially, his experience in marketing products directly to consumers could be of great benefit to EMI which, like the rest of the music industry, has been severely hit by falling CD sales.