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"We will invest in the business to ensure that it grows both organically and by acquisition. The goal is for EMI to be the world's most innovative and consumer-focused music company and the best home for musical talent.”
—-Guy Hands, EMI
EMI BIDS BYE BYE BISCUIT
EMI CEO Nicoli Steps Down as Company’s in New Hands

The Guy Hands era has arrived at venerable EMI Music.

Given the recent chatter, it comes as no surprise that Eric Nicoli will step down as CEO of the company in advance of its de-listing, which is expected to take place in mid-September. Also out is EMI CFO Martin Stewart

Written reports have Nicoli walking off with $5 million in severance.

Today’s announcement also makes a point of stating that Roger Faxon will continue to run EMI Music Publishing as well as remaining on the board.

The two empty board seats will be taken by Terra Firma Managing Directors Chris Roling and Ashley Unwin.

In addition, a new governance structure is being implemented which will involve the EMI board reporting into a new supervisory board to be chaired by Terra Firma Chief Executive Hands. He will be joined by certain senior TFCP executives, including Julie Williamson, a Managing Director of TFCP, who will focus on EMI's strategic business relationships.

Rolling joined Terra Firma as a Managing Director in 2007 from Imperial Chemical Industries, where he was SVP Finance, Procurement and Logistics. Prior to that, Chris held senior international CFO, general management and strategy roles with Aventail Corporation, Getty Images, The Kellogg Company, RJR/Nabisco and PepsiCo.

Unwin is Managing Director of Talent at Terra Firma, with responsibility for ensuring the appropriate leadership for both prospective acquisitions as well as the current portfolio businesses. In addition, he advises on the structure of the businesses and the execution of their strategies. Prior to joining TFCP in 2007, Ashley was a management consultant with Arthur Andersen, where he had responsibility for the Strategy and Organization consulting practice and then with Deloitte Consulting.

Williamson is a Financial Managing Director at Terra Firma. She led the team making the investment in Tank & Rast and was responsible for its refinancing in 2006 and the partial exit in 2007. Julie was also heavily involved in the group’s pub businesses. Prior to joining the group in 1998, Julie worked for Nomura heading the legal team that provided legal risk analysis and transaction execution support for the group. Prior to that, she was a banking lawyer in private practice.

What remains to be seen is the identity of Nicoli’s successor, though the smart money is on Terra Firma partner Stephen Alexander, with a music-savvy veteran running the day-to-day as COO.

Hands offered a glimpse of his strategy going forward in a statement accompanying the announcement, and it appears that he’s in it for the long haul.

Terra Firma's success is founded upon the real commitment it makes to the businesses in which it invests,” he said.  "The new management structure will allow EMI to benefit from Terra Firma's experience in strategically transforming businesses and driving operational change. The initial focus will be to maximize the value of the significant assets in EMI's publishing business and to realize the digital opportunity in recorded music. We will invest in the business to ensure that it grows both organically and by acquisition. The goal is for EMI to be the world's most innovative and consumer-focused music company and the best home for musical talent.”

Sounds good. Now let’s see what happens.

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