Costa Pilavachi, the former head of Decca and EMI Classics, has been appointed senior vice president, classical artists & repertoire, for Universal Music Group International (UMGI).

Pilavachi will be based in London and report to Max Hole, executive vice president, UMGI. His new role, effective immediately, will see the veteran exec "advise, sign, develop and work with emerging and established artists across Universal Music Classics' operations worldwide," according to a statement released by the music major.

Prior to his appointment, Pilavachi had served as worldwide president of three major classical music labels, Philips Classics, Decca and EMI Classics, which he headed from May 2006 to Sept. 2008.

In 1999 Pilavachi played an integral role in the merger of the Philips and Decca labels, leading the combined Universal-owned group until 2006.

More recent duties included working as artistic advisor to Japanese conductor Seiji Ozawa and the classical-orientated Saito Kinen Festival in Matsumoto, Japan.

Commenting on the appointment in a statement, Hole praised Pilavachi's "vast experience and intimate knowledge of classical artists and repertoire," which he stated, "will be invaluable in helping me to manage our classical music operations."

"There is no one better qualified for the task, and I'm delighted to welcome Costa back to Universal Music," Hole went on to say.

Costa Pilavachi added in a statement, "My new role will focus exclusively on artists and repertoire and I very much look forward to supporting and complementing the fine work of the Decca, DG and Universal Music Classics teams worldwide."

"The artists signed to Universal Music are second to none and I am thrilled at the prospect of working with them," he continued.

UMGI is the division that manages UMG's businesses in more than 50 countries outside North America. As previously reported, Hole takes up the position of UMGI COO July 1 this year (Billboard.biz, Mar. 15). His new role will see the exec assume responsibility for UMGI's central functions at its headquarters in London, and for the operations of UMGI territories and regions worldwide.