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“EMI has big plans for expanding Caroline to offer the independent label community a broader suite of services, and Bill is uniquely qualified to lead this charge for us."
—-Ivan Gavin, EMI Music N.A. COO
HEIN'S GOT CAROLINE ON HIS MIND
Veteran Indie Exec Takes Over EMI Distrib With Plans to Expand
William Hein's ready to sing, "Sweet Caroline."

The veteran indie exec has been named Sr. VP/GM of Caroline Distribution by EMI Music North America COO Ivan Gavin. Hein, who was most recently President of independent label Rykodisc, will be based in New York and will report to Gavin. 

Hein will lead EMI’s strategy to expand Caroline’s scope of distribution services by enhancing the marketing and promotion capabilities the company offers its 90-plus independent labels.  They will also offer labels the opportunity for increased global distribution and specialized marketing support for digital content. 

Hein comes to Caroline from Rykodisc, which he joined in 2002 as President of the company's third-party DVD unit and later as President of the label's U.S. and U.K. operations, where he was closely involved in Rykodisc’s recent acquisition by Warner Music Group.  He formed Internet radio venture Enigma Digital with Pink Floyd producer Bob Ezrin, which they later sold to Clear Channel Communications.  He was Executive Chairman, co-founder and co-owner of Restless Records, which was later acquired by TV and film company Regency Enterprises.  Hein and a partner reacquired Restless from Regency in 2001 and subsequently sold it to Ryko Corporation in 2002.

Gain explained: “EMI has big plans for expanding Caroline to offer the independent label community a broader suite of services, and Bill is uniquely qualified to lead this charge for us. He was at the forefront of a rebirth in the independent label sector in the ‘80s and played an integral part in the creation of the national independent distribution business.  Bill’s track record proves that he knows how to continuously reinvent the business to drive a thriving and growing independent sector, and we are thrilled he’ll apply that experience at Caroline.”

In 1993, Hein was a founder of the Alternative Distribution Alliance (ADA) as a joint venture between Restless Records, Warner Music Group and Sub Pop Recordings.  Under Andy Allen, ADA has become the leading third party independent distribution company.

Said Hein: “Caroline was one of the pioneers in independent distribution and has a terrific legacy, so I am thrilled to take on this opportunity to expand the scope of Caroline for the digital age. We have a tremendous family of labels and together I look forward to increasing what we can offer to help get more quality independent music to fans.”

Caroline Distribution was founded in 1983 as a unit of Virgin Records. It became part of EMI when that company acquired Virgin in the early ‘90s.  Caroline distributes 90 labels, including Ultra, Century Media, Arts & Crafts, DFA, Mute, Definitive Jux and Stones Throw, among others. 

Hein formed Greenworld Record Distribution as an importer and independent distributor focused on heavy metal and punk in 1978.  Greenworld later signed Mötley Crüe and in 1982, Hein created Enigma as a record label subsidiary of the company.  In 1984, Hein led a buyout of Enigma and continued to operate it as one of the most successful independent record companies in the ‘80s, signing such gold and platinum selling acts as The Flaming Lips, Berlin, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Ratt, Stryper, the Smithereens, Poison and They Might Be Giants.  In 1991, Hein oversaw the sale of Enigma to Capitol Records-EMI Music.

 

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