EMI Embarks On Major Restructuring – Will Shed 2000 Employees By Summer – Rolling Stones Leave Label For Next Album

The Rolling Stones announced that Universal Music would release their next album, the soundtrack to artin Scorsese’s “Shine A Light.” The film features two 2006 shows by the band and is due to be released in March 2008.

The news comes on the heels of a recent announcement by Guy Hands, head of TerraFirma, to cut between 1500 and 2000 jobs worldwide by mid-year in hopes of saving £200m a year, as EMI’s planned restructuring begins in ernest. Many of EMI’s artists were dismayed by the news including Robbie Robertson who claimed to “go on strike” and not release a new album with the beleaguered label. Tim Clark accused Hands of acting like a “plantation owner,” and Coldplay is wondering aloud if they would continue with the major. Paul McCartney left EMI in March last year.

An EMI was emphatic in stating that “The Rolling Stones have not signed to Universal and they’ve not left EMI.” However, many are wondering if it’s just a matter of time. Hands has threatened to drop recording artists who are deemed to not be working hard enough and wants to reduce advances to artists.

So who’s getting the boot?

An internal communication that is currently floating around the Internet ether reveals that JF Cecillon, Billy Mann, Roger Ames, and Caryn Tomlinson will remain with the label to manage three consolidated divisions: Music Services, A&R, and Support Services, which include Public Relations, Finance, Human Resources, IT, Business Affairs and Corporate Communications. The new divisions move from a regional focus to a worldwide overview.

Roger Ames will reportedly run the A&R with Ashley Unwin, currently COO for North America and UK labels. JF Cecillon will continue to head EMI Music International nad Chris Roling will remain COO of International. Billy Mann, Global Creative Officer, and Caryn Tomlinson, SVP Artist Relations, will oversee the regional label executive to “maximize the value of our A&R talent and deepen relationships with our artists.” (if they stick around…)

The Support Services team will reportedly include Chris Roling – Group CFO, Chris Ancliff – Group General Counsel, Julie Williamson – Chief Investment Officer, Mike Clasper – Global IT, and Amanda Conroy – SVP Group Corporate PR & Communications.

David Kassler has been charged with improving services and relations to artists as EVP Artist Projects. Ronn Werre has been tasked with a complete worldwide sales reorganization (Good luck Ronn – you’ll need it. —Ed.).

The Future: Although, quite drastic in its scope, this maybe just what is needed to turn the label around. The biggest challenge will be to maintain their relationships with their more prominent artists, and cultivate an environment of progressive A&R, while taking a butcher’s knife to their expenditures.

Author: FutureMusic

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