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"Virgin has a lot of momentum on its side and has laid some important groundwork on a host of terrific releases in the market now and coming later this year. It's an exciting time to come on board."
——Larry Mestel, newly named Virgin COO/GM
VIRGIN SAYS HELLO LARRY
Veteran Mestel Named COO/GM at Label
Larry Mestel now gets his own sunburst medallion nipple ring and a coveted place on Courtney Love's Buddy List.

In a move that's been bandied about for some time now, the veteran label exec was named Chief Operating Officer and General Manager of Virgin Records by label Chairman/CEO Matt Serletic.

Mestel, who comes to Virgin from Arista Records, will be based in New York and report directly to Serletic.  He will oversee the label's business operations, including A&R administration, business affairs, finance, human resources and international.

Aside from Love and Janet Jackson, the label's roster features Ricky Fante, Lenny Kravitz, N.E.R.D., Stacie Orrico and the Rolling Stones, among others.  

"Larry is an excellent record executive whose exceptional talents will complete this leadership team at Virgin," said Serletic.  "Larry is an important addition to the new Virgin organization and the efforts we are making to re-establish the label. And he's old enough to know the names of every member of the Rolling Stones."

Mestel was most recently EVP/GM of Arista Records, which he joined in 2000.  While there, he oversaw business affairs, international, finance, production, special markets, administration, sales, as well as Arista's West Coast operation, and was able to get artists such as OutKast, Usher, Pink, Dido, Carlos Santana and Babyface to return his phone calls... when he told them he was L.A. Reid

Prior to Arista, Mestel was COO for Palm Entertainment from 1998-2000 and served on that company's Board of Directors.  From 1990-1997, Mestel served as COO of Island Entertainment Group, including Island Records, Island Music Publishing and Island Pictures.  He was also a board member of Island Records, Island Pictures and Launch Media, Inc.

Added Mestel: "Virgin has a lot of momentum on its side and has laid some important groundwork on a host of terrific releases in the market now and coming later this year. It's an exciting time to come on board, and I look forward to working closely with Matt and everyone at Virgin to support some great records from superstars like Janet Jackson and Lenny Kravitz to up-and-coming talents like Ricky Fante. Now, when do I get to meet Richard Branson and ride in that hot-air balloon? Whaddaya mean he's not here anymore?"

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