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"My core task is to be able to effectively communicate to the various constituencies—investors, lenders, artists—how EMI is going to operate in the future and manage its financial affairs."
——Roger Faxon, EMI Finance Director
THE NEW EMI: JUST
THE FAXON, MA’AM
New EMI Finance Director Roger Faxon Seeks to Balance the Books
Alain Levy’s restructuring of EMI Recorded Music is aimed straight at the bottom line, according to his new Finance Director Roger Faxon, who is charged with balancing the beleaguered U.K. entertainment company’s books.

"Alain believes firmly that the organizatino can be effective as a smaller one and at a much lower cost base, and I agree with him," Faxon told the London Financial Times yesterday.

The company, which employs 10,000 worldwide, has already cut about 600 jobs. More "redundancies" are expected to be eliminated through the merging of its Capitol and Virgin labels’ back office functions around the world.

Faxon admits the company’s $1.64 billion in debt is "not where the business should be or will be in the future… We will naturally reduce our debt," though he adds the company is spending money on the current restrucucturing.

"On the other hand, this business throws off a fair amount of cash, and in six months we will be generating increasing amounts."

Investors will have to wait until Levy reveals the full details of his business plan on March 20, while EMI Recorded Music is expected to report a $223.5 million pre-tax profit for the year to March 31. But this is before more than $148 million of restructuring costs and the close to $50 million it spent to buy Mariah Carey out of her contract.

Faxon’s resume says he might be the right guy to help EMI turn things around. He has been based in the U.S. for the past three years as finance director at EMI Music Publishing under Martin Bandier, the conglom’s most successful, money-making division, generating almost a third of the company’s group operating profits last year. He was also operations director for George Lucas, where he first met former EMI music chief Jim Fifield, then working for General Mills. In addition, Faxon is a former U.S. Congress policy maker and one of the architects of the plan that helped Sotheby’s recover from its financial problems in the early ‘90s.

"My core task is to be able to effectively communicate to the various constituencies—investors, lenders, artists—how EMI is going to operate in the future and manage its financial affairs." He insists he is not merely shaping the group up for a takeover.

"All businesses, whether they are inside or outside a conglomerate, must in themselves, succeed," he concluded. "Which begs the question of why you guys are still around."

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