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BERGEN LEAVING WMG

Stu Bergen has announced that he will step down in January from his role as Warner Music Group’s CEO, International & Global Commercial Services.

Bergen has been with WMG for 14 years and in his current role since 2012. (The title of CEO, International & Global Commercial Services, was created for him in 2016.) He plans to engage in “professional, personal and philanthropic pursuits” come February. 

“A versatile exec, known for his frankness and integrity, he’s just as comfortable in the boardroom advocating for an acquisition as he is flying halfway around the world to meet backstage with an artist,” WMG CEO Max Lousada wrote in an email sent to staff today.

“When Stu took on his current role in 2012, he was charged with spearheading our international expansion, at a point when the industry had been in decline for over a decade. Ever since, he’s been an ambitious catalyst for change, helping us build a truly global platform for growth. As some of you have heard him say, ‘success can now come from anywhere and translate everywhere’.”

In an email to his staff, Bergen touted the company’s investment in local A&R and the development of talents such as Anitta, Aya Nakamura and David Guetta. “Together, we've grown our worldwide footprint, through strategic acquisitions in fast-growing territories and booming genres, from Gold Typhoon in China to Spinnin’ in the Netherlands, while opening affiliates covering around 20 countries,” Bergen wrote.

Here are the full emails.

Hi everyone,

As you’ve just heard, Stu Bergen has decided he’ll be stepping down from his role as CEO, International & Global Commercial Services. Stu will be with us until the end of January, and I'll be announcing the leadership transition at International and WEA in due course.

During his 14 years at WMG, Stu’s been an influential member of our global leadership team, a devoted supporter of our artists and a passionate champion of our team. A versatile exec, known for his frankness and integrity, he’s just as comfortable in the boardroom advocating for an acquisition as he is flying halfway around the world to meet backstage with an artist.

When Stu took on his current role in 2012, he was charged with spearheading our international expansion, at a point when the industry had been in decline for over a decade. Ever since, he’s been an ambitious catalyst for change, helping us build a truly global platform for growth. As some of you have heard him say, “Success can now come from anywhere and translate everywhere.”

Please join me, Steve and the whole Warner family in thanking Stu for everything he’s done for our company, our artists and our industry. He’s got some amazing plans for the future, and as he dives into his next adventure, we know he’ll always have “Warner blue” in his veins.

Max

Hello everyone,

This is not a goodbye message but rather a thank-you note.  After more than 14 amazing, challenging and fulfilling years at Warner Music, I've decided to leave at the end of January.

In the meantime, I'll give my all to a smooth and seamless transition before starting a new chapter of exciting professional, personal and philanthropic pursuits. 

Thank you to each of you for your enthusiasm, ingenuity and camaraderie. Thank you to all the country and label heads with whom it has been my privilege to collaborate. Thank you to Len for your generous support and to Steve and Max for your amazing partnership.

These last eight years overseeing International have undoubtedly been the highlight of my career. It's been a wild and wonderful journey as we have returned to growth and possibility. You have accomplished so much, and I know you will achieve much more.

By investing in local A+R, we have built domestic and cross-border careers for talents such as Anitta, Aya Nakamura, Christopher, David Guetta, Pablo Alborán, Robin Schulz and ONE OK ROCK. At the same time, we've taken music from a host of global superstars to every corner of the planet.

Together, we've grown our worldwide footprint, through strategic acquisitions in fast-growing territories and booming genres, from Gold Typhoon in China to Spinnin’ in the Netherlands, while opening affiliates covering around 20 countries. Also, through the evolution of WEA and the acquisition of EMP, we have enhanced the range of services we can offer artists. Both of those teams have shown inspiring levels of resourcefulness and determination throughout the pandemic.

Your combined efforts have entertained the planet, transformed the company and increased marketshare.

What I will miss is working alongside you—traveling the world, learning about the music scene in every country and sharing a passion for music with the world's greatest superfans. Wherever I have gone, I've always been impressed by your dedication to the company and its artists and overwhelmed by your hospitality. I now have extended family in so many countries. My wife, Lara, and I plan to travel as soon as we’re able, and I'm looking forward to seeing many of you when we're in your neighborhood.

I wish you every success for what I know will be a bright future. You're weathering the current storm with your usual combination of hard work, innovation and grace. This will yield greatness when the sun shines again. Warner is a company of pioneers and I can't wait to see where you take it next.

With love and immense gratitude,

Stu

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