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Phil Christie
WARNER BROS. U.K. GETS NEW PRESIDENT

Max Lousada is implementing his vision of transforming Warner Music U.K. into a family of individual frontline labels with the promotion of Phil Christie from Head of A&R to President, Warner Bros. Records, marking the first time the U.K. label has had standalone leadership since 2008.

The move also allows Parlophone chief Miles Leonard (at right) to focus all efforts on growing his imprint after occupying a dual role of Chairman for both Warner and Parlophone for almost three years.

It's been an excellent few years for Warner in Britain with the success of Lukas Graham, Ed Sheeran, Jess Glynne, Coldplay, Muse, Royal Blood, and more. In Q1 2016, the major label was the only one to achieve an increase in both singles and albums marketshare, with all-albums share up 2.5% year over year to 18.7%, with singles hitting high at 18.6%, up 1.8% from the previous year.

Discussing Christie's appointment and the future of his label, Lousada said, "It has always been our goal to build a family of distinctive, independently-minded frontline labels with their own unique cultures and creative identities, so I'm delighted that Warner Bros. and Parlophone will each return to having sole leadership.

"Miles has done a tremendous job of rejuvenating Warner Bros. Records U.K., reaffirming its reputation as a destination for aspiring stars. Not only has his support for new talent helped some brilliant new U.K. artists to flourish on the label, by spotting Phil's potential and bringing him in, Miles has been instrumental in setting the direction for the future of Warner Bros. Records here in the U.K. It takes real skill to deliver strong results today at the same time as transforming for tomorrow so I’d like to express my sincere thanks to Miles and I look forward to all that he'll achieve as he directs that vision fully behind Parlophone."

Christie has held the role of Head of A&R at Warner Bros. Records U.K. since 2014. In his new position, effective from July, he will be responsible for the creative and strategic direction of the label, whose roster includes Muse, Enya, Prince, Linkin Park, Michael Bublé, Jason Derulo, Green Day, Biffy Clyro, Foals and Royal Blood. Christie joined Warner Bros. Records from Warner/Chappell where his signings included London Grammar, Ben Howard, Tom Odell and Royal Blood. Acts Christie has since signed to Warner Bros. Records U.K. include developing artists Dua Lipa and Rationale.

"Phil is a really inspiring executive who, throughout his career, has signed some of the U.K.'s most original acts and who has the energy, ideas and instincts to write the next chapter in the Warner Bros. Records story,” Lousada continued. “By combining a fresh perspective with a deep respect for real artistry, he embodies the dynamic new era we're shaping for one of music's truly legendary labels while remaining true to the values and the spirit that has seen it produce so many groundbreaking acts. I want to congratulate Phil and wish him and the whole Warner Bros. Records team every success."

Leonard said: “The transition of Warner Bros. Records has been a great experience, and I thank the whole team for their unfaltering support over the last three years. I’m pleased Warner Bros. is now in a great place and with Phil they’ll continue to push the label forward.

“It’s hugely exciting to be back 100% with my amazing team at Parlophone, who have continued to have enormous success and shown that the label is always at the forefront of cutting edge new music. Parlophone, including FFRR, which has been very successful in the last couple of years since its transition to the label, has one of the most envied rosters in the business and a legacy second to none. We have unwavering determination and drive to discover and break new artists as well as nurturing our future executive talent.”

Christie added: “It’s an honour to lead this iconic label and its incredible roster into a new era. The Warner Bros. team is extremely impressive, and together I believe we can continue to redefine the label as a place where world-class artists come to make their mark. I would like to thank Max for this fantastic opportunity and Miles for his leadership and guidance over the last two years.”

The competitive battle in Blighty has largely centered around Jason Iley's Sony and David Joseph's Universal in recent years. But there's no question that Lousada's Warner is becoming increasingly competitive. 

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