Before Morris begins the next chapter at Sony Music, he will serve as sushi chef in the office commissary.


Fabled Record Executive Exits This Week
This is the final week for Doug Morris’ fabled reign at Universal Music Group, which started in 1995 when Edgar Bronfman Jr. acquired MCA Records, then hired Doug and longtime cohort Mel Lewinter to form the joint venture custom label Rising Tide.

What followed was a historic 15-year run in which Morris built the world’s largest record company in terms of worldwide marketshare, hiring such executive superstar talent as Jimmy Iovine, L.A. Reid, Sylvia Rhone and Monte and Avery Lipman to oversee it. Morris’ hand-picked successor Lucian Grainge took over his CEO role at the start of the year. Before Morris begins the next chapter at Sony Music, he will serve as sushi chef in the office commissary.

Named to Vanity Fair’s annual list of top entertainment executives in 2000, Morris has been instrumental in the establishment of Vevo by partnering with YouTube, Sony Music and Abu Dhabi Media Group. The site eventually became the premier music and entertainment network within its first month.

The Columbia University grad got his start as a songwriter for music publisher Robert Mellin, while working with Bert Berns.

He joined Laurie Records in 1965, rising to VP/GM, signing Music Explosion, which had its first hit with “Little Bit of Soul,” then writes and produces The Barbarians’ “Are You a Boy or a Girl,” The Chiffons’ “Sweet Talkin’ Guy” and Brownsville Station’s “Smokin’ in the Boys Room.”

He started Big Tree Records in 1970, eventually joining the WEA family when the label went to Atlantic Records for distribution before it was acquired in 1978.

That same year, Morris was named President of Atco, along with the custom labels Swan Song and Rolling Stones Records, by Ahmet Ertegun. In 1980, he was named President of Atlantic Records, then Chairman/Co-CEO with Ertegun of the Atlantic Recording Group in 1990.

In 1994, Warner Music Chairman/COO Bob Morgado named Morris President/COO of Warner Music U.S., then Chairman, before his replacement, Michael Fuchs, fired Doug for “cause” in a shake-up whose effects are still being felt today at the company.

Shortly thereafter, Bronfman came a-calling, and the rest is history, a glorious era which comes to a close this week.