Quantcast
Thyret’s departure from the Bunny comes amid calls by AOL Time Warner to implement a $1 billion cost-cutting plan, which includes the elimination of approximately 2,400 jobs—at least 600 from the Warner Music Group.
THYRET TO STEP DOWN,
WILL KLEIN FOLLOW?
Exit Of 30-Year Veteran Marks The End Of An Era
As we first reported yesterday, Warner Bros. Records Inc. Chairman/CEO Russ Thyret will leave the company, effective immediately, it was announced today.

Said Thyret, "It has been my honor to work at Warner Bros. Records for most of my life. I have had the privilege to be around much of the greatest popular music ever recorded. My strongest ambition has always been to serve those artists well, and I leave Warner Bros. hoping I've accomplished that. I also believe that I leave the company in the capable hands of many talented people, who will continue to make this a very unique and special place. My heartfelt thanks go to all those wonderful people, past and present, I've had the pleasure to work with. I was in awe of Warner Bros. Records the first day I walked in the door, and in so many ways, I leave even more in awe. It will forever be a magical memory."

Bunny watchers are wondering if Reprise Records President Howie Klein will follow, despite the fact that he has a reported two years left on his current deal.

Thyret, a 30-year veteran of the company, has been at the center of much rumor-mongering of late, with rumors of the topper's departure flaring up several times since last year. Insiders said Thyret has been upset with WMG operations after his apparent lack of involvement in the hiring of Tom Whalley last year. That hiring has dramatically impacted the company's day-to-day operations, even though Whalley may not arrive at the Bunny until January 2002.

It was also announced that Warner Bros. Records Inc. President Phil Quartararo will assume day-to-day responsibilites. [See related story]. Sources said that will be the case until Whalley's arrival, with no signs that Interscope chief Jimmy Iovine will let Whalley out of his contract early.

Thyret's departure from the Bunny comes amid calls by AOL Time Warner to implement a $1 billion cost-cutting plan, which includes the elimination of approximately 2,400 jobs—at least 600 from the Warner Music Group.

Sources said that Thyret, who has been operating without a contract, had been offered an extension of his contract by WMG chief Roger Ames.

In a statement Ames said, "It is with a sense of sorrow that I have accepted Russ' decision to step down. For three decades, Russ has upheld the unparalleled reputation of Warner Bros. Records as one of the most prestigious, artist-friendly and respected companies in the world. His dedication, his passion and his tremendous personality will be greatly missed."

Klein, who has been President of Reprise since 1995, may also leave the company shortly. He has told many close associates that he would prefer to work for Thyret.

Klein owned 415 Records in San Francisco and in 1987 joined Sire Records, soon becoming General Manager of Sire as well as a WB VP. With Sire founder Seymour Stein, he worked with such artists as Madonna, Depeche Mode, Morrissey and Lou Reed.

As part of its call to eliminate $1 billion in spending, AOLTW in January deemed WMG one of the divisions marked for restructuring by the group's merged management. The 600 reductions are to come through attrition and early-retirement packages first, followed later by head-count reductions. Early-retirement packages were offered to non-contractual employees 50 years of age or older with at least 10 years experience at the company. Recipients of the offer were told to decide whether to take the lucrative deal—reportedly four weeks compensation for each year served—within 45 days, as we first reported (hitsdailydouble.com, 1/23).

Sources said Ames will likely restructure operations after the retirement-package period runs its course. The departure of the much-loved Thyret is expected to trigger a slew of other executives' departures, sources said.

Warners, now in the midst of nearly a decade-long executive shuffle, has never truly recovered from the departure of former leader Mo Ostin and his second, Lenny Waronker, less than 10 years ago. Following their exit, a who's who of executives, including Bob Morgado, Michael Fuchs, Doug Morris, Danny Goldberg, Bob Daly and Terry Semel, and most recently Ames, have been charged with returning the company to its glory days as the industry's top music operation.

SONY SETS UP $100M COVID-19 FUND
Just the beginning. (4/2a)
TOURING IN 2020:
HOW IT LOOKS NOW
Uncertainty from coast to coast (4/2a)
2020 THREE-MONTH MARKETSHARE SCORECARD
Deadlocks in the top tiers of the standings (4/2a)
REVENUE CHART:
LOONEY WEEKND
MVP frontunner of 2020 (4/2a)
VIRTUAL CONCERT AND LIVESTREAM ROUNDUP (UPDATED DAILY)
Giving home entertainment new meaning (4/2a)
WE FOUND SOME TOILET PAPER
Also known as back issues of HITS.
SOCIAL DISTANCING
We turn out to be pioneers.
STREAMING STORIES
The music doc shows new muscle.
ELECTION 2020
Not postponed yet.
 Email

 First Name

 Last Name

 Company

 Country
CAPTCHA code
Captcha: (type the characters above)