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Schmidt today named himself Chairman and CEO of BeMusic, the new BeCG operating unit comprising BMG Direct’s internet and mail-order record clubs, the recently acquired CDNOW e-tail enterprise and MyPlay digital locker service and other assets, including Bertelsmann’s strategic alliance with the once-popular Napster.
BeCG BE ORGANIZING BeMUSIC
Additional Layers of Corporate Bureaucracy Certain to Increase Profits
To BeMusic or not to BeMusic. That was the question Bertelsmann E-commerce Group (BeCG) President/CEO Andreas Schmidt had to ask himself last week as he reorganized Bertelsmann’s music services group. We now know he decided to BeMusic, but we’re still not sure where he stands on suffering the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune and all that.

Hamlet, of course, was a prince of Denmark, while Schmidt is a highly esteemed German executive for a highly esteemed German media conglomerate. Both, of course, tower over this putrid stink-heap of a website. But none of that changes the fact that the 40-year-old Schmidt today named himself Chairman and CEO of BeMusic, the new BeCG operating unit comprising BMG Direct’s internet and mail-order record clubs, the recently acquired CDNOW e-tail enterprise and MyPlay digital locker service and other assets, including Bertelsmann’s strategic alliance with the once-popular Napster. As a result, we can only guess there will be a few more slices of Smellie Schmidt-Holtz on his pumpernickel sandwiches from here on out, if you know what we mean.

BeMusic, which claims 23 million subscribers and customers and $1 billion in music sales, will consist of three divisions, each with its own full complement of executives reporting directly to Schmidt: BeMusic Direct, which will manage BMG Direct’s music clubs and CDNOW; BeMusic Services, the company’s online and offline fulfillment division; and BeMusic Digital, which will manage MyPlay and BeMusic’s other music websites, as well as taking charge of "building the new integrated music destination service for BeMusic that will combine all forms of online and digital distribution of music including clubs, retail and digital subscriptions." Sounds simple enough.

As part of the new organization, Schmidt has appointed former bol.com President/CEO Stuart Goldfarb President/CEO of BeMusic Direct and former BMG Direct Sr. VP Operations Tom Hoekzema President/CEO of BeMusic Services. In addition to his duties as President/CEO BeCG and Chairman/CEO BeMusic, Schmidt will oversee BeMusic Digital until a President and CEO for the division can be found. Talk about your mortal coils!

In addition, Schmidt has announced the following BeMusic appointments:

  • MyPlay co-founder David Pakman has been named Sr. VP Corporate Development and Public Policy.
  • BeCG CFO and BeMusic board member Bill Sorenson has been named Executive VP and Chief Financial and Administrative Officer.
  • BeCG Sr. VP of Corporate Communications Patrick Reilly has been named Sr. VP of Corporate Communications.
  • Marketing executive/entrepreneur Worth Linen has been named outside Director to the BeMusic board.
  • BeCG VP business development Daniel Alegre has been named VP BeMusic Digital.
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