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I am extremely excited about EMI’s determination to embrace a new way of working with artists that recognizes both the importance of the history of the labels but also the importance of new technologies."
GATFIELD IN AT EMI
Veteran Label Exec Given A&R Reigns by Hands
From Dexy's Midnight Runners to head of A&R in the U.K. and North America for EMI.

That's the path of Nick Gatfield, who has agreed to join Guy Hands as President of A&R Labels, North America and U.K.

In this role, Gatfield will have all label heads in the U.S. and U.K. reporting directly to him.

Gatfield had just left his post as President of Island U.K., with his contract reportedly up, where he was given credit for the success of such acts as Amy Winehouse, Mika, The Feeling and Sugababes.

Gatfield essentially takes over for Roger Ames, who sources say has been offered a job consulting Hands. Some believe it’s possible Ames will leave EMI by June, as the two sides may not be able to work out a good fit for both. That would be an ironic outcome in that Ames appears to have been partly responsible for bringing Gatfield to the company, and it’s a fact that the two veterans share a long business and personal history.

Commented Guy Hands: “As well as developing some of today’s most popular artists and music around the world, Nick has also demonstrated his talents for embracing and delivering change. At Universal Island, he has led a complete turnaround of the label in both creative and financial terms and built it into the most successful domestic repertoire label in the U.K.  I am delighted that Nick is joining EMI and I believe the combination of Nick Gatfield and Douglas Merrill working together will enable EMI to reposition itself in new music.”

Hands' statement failed to address the future of Ames at the company, or to mention him at all, for that matter. Gatfield reportedly got the job by crooning "Come on Eileen" a capella in Guy's office.

Said Gatfield: “A&R has always been at the heart of EMI and its labels and the company has an incredibly strong track record in signing and developing some of the most innovative artists in the world. It is also a company that is leading the most ambitious transformation of the music industry. My goal is to nurture that culture of creativity and change, working in true partnership with the talented artists and A&R people at EMI. In addition, I am extremely excited about EMI’s determination to embrace a new way of working with artists that recognizes both the importance of the history of the labels but also the importance of new technologies."

From 1993-'98, Nick worked in L.A. for PolyGram, where he was President of Polydor Records, presiding over signings such as the platinum-plus Tonic and the platinum Badlees and is credited with reinvigorating the label’s catalog business. 
         
Nick began his business career at EMI Records in the U.K., where he worked from 1985 to 1992, first as A&R and in-house producer, helping to sign platinum sellers Climie Fisher and Brother Beyond, and working with major artists such as Duran Duran and Pet Shop Boys. He was promoted to the position of Director of A&R in 1987 (making him the youngest director in EMI’s history) with overall A&R responsibility for all of EMI’s labels. Signings during his tenure as Director of A&R included Radiohead, Blur, EMF and Jesus Jones.

In other news, EMI is expected to begin rolling out its reported 1,800 pink slips as soon as next week.

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