The reshaping of the Universal Music Group continues. With executives like Motown president Sylvia Rhone turning down an offer from the company to run a to-be-created rights-management company and Universal Motown Republic Group chairman Mel Lewinter exiting, sources say that the company is having discussions about bringing aboard former Warner Bros. Records chairman/CEO Tom Whalley and Virgin A&R head Rob Stevenson.
According to sources, Whalley is in discussion with Barry Weiss, chairman & CEO of Island Def Jam and Universal Motown Republic Group, about heading up a joint venture boutique label, although details have yet to be worked out, sources tell Billboard.biz.
Meanwhile, Stevenson is in discussions with Weiss and Universal Republic Records President/CEO Monte Lipman about taking a senior A&R post in the Universal Republic camp, sources say.
Rhone is rumored to be heading to Sony to restore the defunct Portrait label, where she would work closely with new Epic head L.A. Reid. The move, which has been long expected in one form or another, would see new Sony Music Chairman/CEO Doug Morris reuniting Reid and Rhone, both of whom joined him at Universal in 2004 and left the company just months after his long-rumored departure from UMG was announced earlier this year.