EMI Rejig Gives Faxon Control Of Rights-Hungry Label

The umpteenth restructure at EMI Group, since the Terra Firma takeover three years ago, sees the chief of one of its two divisions upped to group-wide CEO

EMI is bringing both its EMI Music Publishing and its EMI Recorded Music divisions under the leadership of Roger Faxon, who has led the former unit since 2007 but who is being given an overarching role.

Other moves…

— The recorded music unit’s non-exec chairman Charles Allen is becoming an adviser to EMI more widely and to its parent company.

— Stephen Alexander, a director with Terra Firma’s acquisition vehicle Maltby Capital, is becoming chair of that company.

— Ex Maltby chair Lord Birt will move to unspecified “other Terra Firma assignments, focusing on acquisitions and strategy”.

EMI’s announcement says the rejig is “to enable the company to reposition itself as a comprehensive rights management company that can take full advantage of all global opportunities in all markets for music”.

But it’s pretty unclear what this means. Digital Music News: “Is a “comprehensive rights management company” simply a well-dressed version of a ‘360-degree company’?” Each of the major labels had already been repositioning to offer artists end-to-end services across the gamut of music business.

One thing that is clear: EMI is responding to the opportunity to bring in more royalties from use of music by the likes of games and online services. “More music is being used than ever before, despite the continued decline in global music revenues,” its announcement says, adding the switch is to “maximise the value of the rights it represents on behalf of its artists and songwriters”.

Digitally, EMI hired two high-profile digital media execs following the acquisition, but recently scrapped them in favour of a whole roster of senior digital marketing managers, effectively making digital just a component of EMI’s marketing function.