"I'm coming from a branded goods industry—what the music industry needs is an equal understanding of how to build branding around artists.”

EVERYBODY’S TALKIN’ ABOUT ELIO

Marketing Guru Gets High Marks for Charisma
The rank and file at Reckitt Benckiser love EVP Elio Leoni-Sceti, says Peter Kaka in a piece posted late Monday on the Silicon Ally Insider, but they won't have to say any tearful goodbyes until Oct. 1, his start date at EMI.

“If anyone is keeping score,” writes the caustic Kafka, “this means it will have taken Hands 14 months to fill the post; he finalized his purchase of the ailing music giant in August of last year. And that's being generous—given that Hands spent months lining up financing, etc to get the deal done, he's probably had at least a year and half to figure out who he'd like to run one his company's two main units.” The reporter further notes that Leoni-Sceti addressed his troops-to-be at a couple of all-hands meetings Monday, so they'll know what he'll look like.

“I won't run artists and repertoire—it is not my area of competence,” Leoni Sceti told The Times of London’s Dan Sabbagh, who noted that the exec’s total pay package is understood to amount to more than £1 million, with a mega-performance bonus on top of that. “I'm not a music expert—we have a lot of competent executives here who can do that. I'm coming from a branded goods industry—what the music industry needs is an equal understanding of how to build branding around artists.”

Reckitt Benckiser was known for spending a relatively small amount on product development, compared with rivals such as Procter & Gamble, but it invested heavily in marketing its cleaning, healthcare and food portfolio, Sabbagh pointed out. Leoni-Sceti's last job at the company involved heading its European operations. He held £9 million-worth of shares in the business, according to the most recent company filing.

“Leoni-Sceti's curriculum vitae is actually not a radical change of pace for EMI,” notes Lionel Laurent on Forbes.com. “The label's last chief executive, Eric Nicoli, spent almost three decades chomping his way through the candy industry; in a 2006 interview with The Guardian, he claimed that Coldplay singer Chris Martin had congratulated him on inventing the caramel-chocolate-wafer bar known as ‘Lion.’”

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