WMG shakes up int’l management ranks

Warner Music Europe CEO John Reid to ankle company

Warner Music Group is streamlining its international management structure, with several top executives taking on new global responsibilities.

With the restructuring, Warner Music Europe CEO John Reid is ankling the company.

In a memo to staffers obtained by Daily Variety, WMG chairman-CEO of recorded music Lyor Cohen said that the exec changes are being made to “create a flatter organization with clearer reporting lines to create a closer connection between management and artists and consumers.”

Cohen will now have direct oversight of operations in North America, France, Germany and the U.K. Warner Music Latin America prexy Inigo Zabala will oversee activities in Spain and Latin America. Warner Music Asia Pacific prexy Lachie Rutherford will continue to head that region. Warner Bros. Records executive vp Stu Bergen will oversee operations in the rest of the world.

Three stateside execs are getting global bumps. WEA prexy-CEO Mike Jbara will be responsible for global distribution; Rhino Entertainment prexy-CEO Kevin Gore will head worldwide catalog management and synch rights; and WMG senior vp of worldwide artist services David Marcus will handle international 360-degree deals. They will report to Roger Gold, senior vp, office of the chairman and CEO of recorded music.

As a result of the restructuring, Warner Music International senior vps Eric Daugan and Isabel Garvey and CFO Mike Saunter will exit the company.

Reid’s exit ends an 11-year run at WMG, where he most recently ran the company’s European affiliates. He was previously prexy of Island Def Jam Records US, where he worked closely with Cohen.

Reid said in a memo to staff, “Now, as we approach the next stage in the company’s evolution, our global management structure will be redefined. And that has spurred me to consider what my new role should be.

“Looking back on all our successes, I’ve decided that – rather than take a new role inside the company – the time was right to move on to my next adventure. While the decision was difficult, I depart with the comfort of knowing that all of our good work ensures a great future.”

Cohen said of Reid, “Most recently, John played a key role in our remarkable transformation in Europe, adding another achievement to his very long list of contributions to WMG. Having worked with him since our days at Def Jam, I am eternally grateful for John’s friendship and leadership.”