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UNGER-HAMILTON TO HEAD COLUMBIA U.K.

Ferdy Unger-Hamilton has been anointed as president of Columbia U.K., effective next Monday. Sony U.K. topper Jason Iley, to whom he'll report, tapped the former Polydor commander for the post. Unger-Hamilton will have a JV project with Sony U.K., with a moniker TBA.

"I was about 13 years old when I first heard Bob Dylan after my mum left a cassette of Biograph lying around," Unger-Hamilton says. "Columbia Records changed my life! It has always been the ultimate artist company. The U.S. team has done such an incredible job--and you can't imagine how much it means to me to be asked by Jason to lead the U.K. company. I will try to do it justice."

"Ferdy is a true artists' man; someone who has an unparalleled track record for nurturing and breaking artists on a global scale," Iley proclaimed. "I am delighted to have such a world-class executive joining Columbia Records and am also particularly looking forward to renewing our working relationship, which has proved so successful in the past."

Added Iley, "Ferdy succeeds Alison Donald and Mark Terry, who have both now left the company. I would like to thank Alison and Mark for all their hard work over the last few years and wish them well for the future."

Unger-Hamilton started at UMG in 1996 as Managing Director of the Polydor-affiliated Go Beat, where he worked with Portishead and co-penned the #1 hit "Rise" for artist Gabrielle.

He subsequently proved a major A&R star at Island, where he worked on such projects as smash BRIT winners Keane, then moved to EMI’s Virgin as Managing Director, ascending to President of A&R Labels, Virgin not long thereafter. He returned to UMG in 2008 as President of Polydor.

Unger-Hamilton's successes at Polydor include Lana Del Rey, Ellie Goulding, Years & Years, The 1975 and James Blake, not to mention Take That's gigantic 2009 set. He has been waiting out the end of his UMG deal's term, on what's known in Blighty as "gardening leave."

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