The game of musical chairs is continuing at the major labels, as Ivan Gavin segues from Sony Music Entertainment to Universal Music Group, taking the newly created role of chief operating officer at Universal Republic/Island Def Jam.

Gavin, who will be based in New York, will oversee day-to-day operations at the label group, with responsibility for the finance, business affairs and sales departments.

Appointment finds another label loyalist following a longtime superior to a new post: Gavin served under Universal Republic/Island Def Jam chairman-CEO Barry Weiss for years as COO of RCA/Jive Label Group. Weiss segued to the UMG division earlier this year.

Weiss said in a statement: “Having worked with Ivan for many years at Jive and then Jive/RCA, I’m confident that his unique combination of record label, financial and operational experience have made him ideally suited to help me address the unique challenges and the array of opportunities we face in the music business today.”

Gavin was previously COO of EMI Music North America and spent 12 years as an exec VP at Zomba.

Senior execs have been leapfrogging from SME to UMG and vice versa for months, as Weiss and longtime UMG topper Doug Morris exchanged thrones. In October, longtime Morris sidekick Mel Lewinter joined SME as exec VP, label strategy (Daily Variety, Oct. 12).