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LEONARD STEPS DOWN, MITCHELL STEPS UP AT PARLOPHONE

Parlophone Records Chairman Miles Leonard has officially announced his plan to step down from running the WMUK label from January 2018, as rumored earlier this month. Atlantic Records U.K. GM Mark Mitchell has been named co-President of Parlophone, with Leonard remaining in an advisory A&R role.

Across eight years at Atlantic, and nearly six as GM, Mitchell has played a key role in supporting the campaigns of artists including Ed Sheeran, Anne-Marie, Plan B, Bruno Mars, Clean Bandit, Jess Glynne, James Blunt and Rudimental. He has a marketing background, and previously ran his own consultancy King Harvest, with clients including The Prodigy, Domino Records (Arctic Monkeys and Franz Ferdinand), Skint and Fatboy Slim. Prior to that, Mitchell was Marketing Director of Vital Sales and Marketing, now known as PIAS.

With acts like Coldplay, Blur, Gorillaz, Disciples, David Guetta, Blonde and Kano, Parlophone has a 2.9% AES Artist Albums marketshare YTD. The label ended 2016 with 3.2% of the market. Atlantic, meanwhile, boasts a 9.3% share of the AES Artist Albums market YTD, and ended 2016 with 5.8%. In his new role, Mitchell will be responsible for driving the label’s strategy as well as overseeing all marketing, press, digital, design and promo functions.

WMG CEO Recorded Music Max Lousada said: “I couldn’t be happier that Mitch is taking on this role. He has the rare skill of understanding how to break artists as well as delivering massive moments for global superstars. He thinks like an indie while operating in a major, which means a diverse array of artists have flourished thanks to his expertise. This is a fantastic new chapter for Mitch and for Parlophone.”

Leonard has worked at Parlophone for 23 years. As well as those mentioned above, he's signed and nurtured artists such as Tinie Tempah, Royal Blood, Kylie, Paul Weller and Lily Allen.

Lousada added: “Miles is the definition of music man. Under his guidance, Parlophone has discovered and championed seminal artists who’ve released important, much-loved music and been wildly successful doing it. Miles has always understood that true artist development takes a lot of heart, and he brings that to everything he does, so I’m excited for how his relationship with Warner will evolve and grateful for his extraordinary contribution to music over the past two decades.”

Leonard will support the leadership transition and continue working with Warner Music on key artists and special projects. Working at Parlophone “has been the adventure of a lifetime,” he said. “It’s been a privilege to be the custodian of a label that occupies such a unique place in popular culture and to have worked with so many unique and inspiring artists, managers and teams. It was a difficult decision, but now really is the right time for me to give up my day-to-day responsibilities so I can focus solely on the music and artists I love. Mitch and I have known each other for many years. He is driven, passionate and he’s a great guy. Stepping down is both easy and exciting when passing Parlophone on to a leader of his caliber. I just hope he is also ready for the next 23 years.”

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