Sylvia Rhone ankles Universal Motown

Former label prexy may take another role within UMG

Sylvia Rhone has ankled her position as prexy of Universal Motown, but could remain under the UMG umbrella.

Word of Rhone’s exit had been agitating the rumor mill since the arrival of Island Def Jam/Universal Motown Republic chairman-CEO Barry Weiss from Sony Music Entertainment earlier this year.

UMG said in a statement Friday that “for the interim, (Universal Motown’s) current general manager Pat Monaco will continue to oversee day-to-day operations. We remain committed to the company as a strong presence in the contemporary music scene. We will soon announce important additions to the staff and will further invest in building its artist roster so Motown can continue to bring to market the highest quality music that is best positioned to succeed artistically and commercially.”

Rhone has long been among the highest-ranking women and top African-American execs in the American music business. She joined UMG in 2004 as Motown prexy and exec VP of Universal Records. For the prior decade she had served as chairman-CEO of Elektra Entertainment Group, and was previously chairman-CEO of Atco/EastWest Records and prexy of East/West.

In these positions, she was closely allied with former UMG and Warner Music Group topper Doug Morris, who exited Universal earlier this year for a CEO role at Sony Music Entertainment. He takes that post July 1.

Rhone may take another exec role within Universal, the company said Friday: “We continue to be in discussions with her on how and where she can best utilize her skills and relationships in the multiple rights arena in which UMG continues to expand.”In an unrelated move Friday, former Universal Music Distribution exec VP-GM Amanda Marks was promoted to the newly created position of global head of digital accounts. She will now oversee UMG’s digital retailing partnerships on a worldwide basis, reporting to Rob Wells, president of global digital business.