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"Henry was a very special person—a tremendous record executive, a true gentleman and a great friend. He was truly a unique individual who balanced his wisdom and business sense with passion, humor, kindness and grace."
——UMG Chairman Doug Morris
HENRY DROZ PASSES AWAY
Former Head of UMVD and WEA Considered to Be the Architect of Modern Music Distribution
It is our sad duty to report that Henry Droz, one of the most beloved executives in the music business, died today of natural causes. He was 76.

A music industry leader for more than four decades, Droz most recently served as Chairman of Universal Music & Video Distribution, where he was responsible for the activities and business strategies of Universal Music Group’s sales and distribution arm. Upon his retirement from this position in September 2000, Droz was named Chairman Emeritus of UMVD.

Said UMG Chairman/CEO Doug Morris, upon hearing the news: "We at Universal are greatly saddened by the passing of Henry Droz. Henry was a very special person—a tremendous record executive, a true gentleman and a great friend.  He was truly a unique individual who balanced his wisdom and business sense with passion, humor, kindness and grace.

"Henry played a pivotal role in the establishment of UMG as a major force in the record business. As one of the most innovative people in the development of modern music distribution, Henry's influence will be felt for many years to come.

"There are no words to describe the loss we all feel. Henry will be greatly missed by the Universal family and the entire music business."

Considered the architect of modern music distribution, Droz held the post of President/CEO of WEA for 16 years, consistently leading the company into the top U.S. marketshare position. While at WEA, Droz established a system of branches to market and sell the company’s music, a template that eventually became a standard in the music business.

Droz began his career working in the Decca Records branch in Detroit, later serving as Branch Manager. Soon after, he established his own independent distribution business, Arc Distributing Co. After selling Arc to the Handleman in 1962, he continued to run the company until 1972, when he joined WEA. A year later, he was promoted to VP Sales and in 1975 was made Executive VP. He assumed the position of President/CEO of WEA in 1977 and continued in that position until 1993, when he became a Senior Advisor to the Warner Music Group.

In 1996, Droz joined UMVD as its President, and was named Chairman in 1999.

With his retirement in 2000, Droz was honored by the company with the position of Chairman Emeritus. To further honor Droz, UMVD established a scholarship through NARM in his name. In addition, UMVD renamed its internal company award recognizing the top region each year, dubbing it the Henry Droz Award for Outstanding Achievement in Artist Development.

UMVD continues to honor Droz with a commemorative photo in the distribution company’s Los Angeles headquarters.

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