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WHALLEY TO RETURN TO WARNERS
Interscope Prez To Fulfill His Contract Before Exiting
In a surprising turnaround that has stunned music industry observers, Interscope-Geffen-A&M President Tom Whalley will leave his post to take the Chairman/CEO position at Warner Bros. Records, a job currently held by russ thyret',390,400);">russ thyret',390,400);">Russ Thyret. The unprecedented move calls for Whalley to receive $30-40 million during the course of a five-year contract.

The Whalley signing is the first major appointment by Warner Music Group Chairman and CEO roger ames',390,400);">roger ames',390,400);">Roger Ames since taking power in August 1999.One sticking point, however, in Whalley's move to the label is that his contract at Interscope does not expire for 20 months, sources said, and Whalley will not leave Interscope until his contract expires.

Sources at Warner Bros. said key personnel at the company were shocked by the move and are up in arms over not being told about it. The company has been in executive turmoil over the last five years, and this move is expected to add to the growing sense of disgruntlement. Insiders question how Warner Bros. Records can operate during the next 20 months in a state of limbo.

Whalley and the UMG and IGA brass were unavailable for comment, while Ames had no comment.

The veteran executive was named president of Interscope-Geffen-A&M in December 1998, following UMG's purchase of PolyGram. He was a member of the label's founding A&R team.

Whalley came to Interscope after being let go in the summer of 1990 as head of A&R at Capitol Records, where he guided such groups as The Beastie Boys, Bonnie Raitt, Poison and Crowded House. Before that, he held an A&R position at Warner Bros. Records, where he started his music business career in the mailroom.

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