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"At such a pivotal time for music, it’s more important than ever to develop a fertile, creative environment that generates the highest quality of artists and music, while seeking to fully exploit the many opportunities that new digital services and products provide in reaching audiences around the world."
—-Doug Morris, on taking Sony Music top job
MORRIS TO SONY DONE DEAL
Doug Morris Named New Head of Sony Music Entertainment, Will Start July 1
It’s the end of one era and the beginning of another for legendary record exec Doug Morris.

Who says there are no third acts in American lives? Take that, F. Scott Fitzgerald.

It’s now official. After building impressive empires at Atlantic Records, then Warner Music Group and finally Universal Music Group, Morris will join Sony Music Entertainment as Chief Executive Officer, effective July 1


Morris, who became Worldwide Chairman and Chief Executive Officer at UMG in 1995, had announced last year that he would step down from that role at the end of 2010.  He will succeed Rolf Schmidt-Holtz, who will be departing SME with the end of his contract on March 31.

“I have known Doug Morris for many years, and am delighted that he has agreed to lead Sony Music Entertainment,” said Stringer.  “At this critical time in the evolution of the music industry, I can think of no one more qualified as a proven executive, an innovator, a music impresario and a statesman than Doug Morris.  I welcome him to the company and look forward to our working together to drive Sony Music to preeminence in the industry.

“I also want to thank Rolf Schmidt-Holtz for his tremendous contribution to Sony Music. From his time as Chairman of the Sony BMG Music Entertainment joint venture in 2004, through his operational role as CEO beginning in 2006, Rolf has been a courageous, candid and forward-thinking executive, and our entire company has benefited greatly from his leadership.  We wish him great success as he undertakes new challenges upon his return to Europe.”

Commented Morris: “I'm delighted by the opportunity to work with Howard and the entire Sony Music team. At such a pivotal time for music, it’s more important than ever to develop a fertile, creative environment that generates the highest quality of artists and music, while seeking to fully exploit the many opportunities that new digital services and products provide in reaching audiences around the world."

Prior to Doug officially coming on board July 1, Stringer will oversee the executive decision-making at SME.

Added Schmidt-Holtz:  “Over the last 10 years as CEO of BMG, Sony BMG, and currently Sony Music, I have worked to build the value of music content across a wide variety of platforms.  I am particularly proud to have developed the global television property as an important strategic element within all the companies I have led. This influential model has been widely adopted across the entire industry, and is a vital component of today’s music business.  Most importantly, I am grateful to have worked with such a great team over the last decade, including some of the most talented and dedicated music executives in the industry.  Together, we have kept a strong focus on building a profitable company with an entrepreneurial culture that attracts good people and always remembers that great artistry, creative talent and innovation are the driving forces of our success.  Finally, I want to thank Howard Stringer for giving me the opportunity to lead Sony Music over these last few years.  It has been an amazing experience and one I will never forget.  I wish my colleagues and the new leadership all the best for the future. ”

At UMG, Morris was responsible for guiding the overall global activities of the company, overseeing the development, manufacturing, marketing, selling and distribution of its recorded music through subsidiaries, joint ventures and licensees in 77 countries around the world, as well as its music publishing business, the largest in the world.

Under his direction, UMG led the industry in sales for an unprecedented 14 consecutive years as he grew the organization from a record company into a full-fledged music entertainment company with multiple new revenue streams.

His legacy will also include the establishment of Vevo as a leading online music destination in partnership with Sony Music, Google and the Abu Dhabi Media Company.

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