EMI Music Publishing chairman/co-CEO Marty Bandier formally announced his resignation this morning (Oct. 30). He told about 40 of the publisher's worldwide executives, gathered for a meeting in New Yo

EMI Music Publishing chairman/co-CEO Marty Bandier formally announced his resignation this morning (Oct. 30). He told about 40 of the publisher's worldwide executives, gathered for a meeting in New York City, that it is time to pursue other opportunities with the usual and unusual suspects, according to a source in the room.

Unless Bandier and EMI Group agree otherwise, Bandier plans to stay with the publisher for just six more months, when he will then be a "free agent." This early resignation, first tipped in September by Billboard.biz, cuts short his previously planned exit. Bandier was not expected to resign as chairman for another 18 months. He was then expected to stay on as a consultant for an additional three years.

Now that Bandier has tendered a formal resignation, he may be able to fully explore other options available despite his contract with EMI Group. Typically, a high-level executive's employment contract requires that notice of resignation be given several months in advance. This type of contract also normally includes a provision restricting the executive from competing with his employer for a certain period of time. However, once formal notice is provided, this type of contract often permits the executive to at least explore other similar employment opportunities that would be available at the end of that period. No information about the terms of Bandier's contract was available.

As first reported by Billboard.biz, there have been discussions between Bandier and Warner Music Group chairman Edgar Bronfman Jr. over the future plans of WMG, which owns Warner/Chappell Music. An alliance with WMG and perhaps a play -- with private equity backing -- for Bandier to acquire EMI Music Publishing are among Bandier's options, say sources close to the situation.

In 1984, Bandier co-founded SBK Entertainment World, which was acquired five years later by then-Thorn EMI. Bandier soon became chairman/CEO of EMI Music Publishing. According to EMI Group's Annual Report 2006, the SBK catalog "now forms the core of our music publishing business." EMI Music Publishing annual revenue through March 31, 2006, reached £419.6 million ($795.5 million), with an operating profit of £105.4 million ($199.8 million).

In late 2004 or early 2005, Bandier reportedly informed EMI Group chairman Eric Nicoli that he wished to transition out of the company. He later told Billboard that he wanted to own publishing assets again.

The multi-stage exit plan began on Feb. 1, 2005, when Roger Faxon became president/COO of the publisher. In April 2006, Faxon began sharing the CEO title with Bandier. Faxon was expected to become sole CEO in April 2007, with Bandier resigning his chairman post in March 2008. Bandier was then expected to act as a consultant to the publisher for another three years.

Instead, Bandier will now exit in April if not sooner.

"Over the last 17 years, Marty Bandier has led the development of EMI Music Publishing into a world-leading force," says Eric Nicoli, EMI Group chairman. "Roger Faxon and his highly talented management team will drive this outstanding business to new heights in the years ahead."