Universal Music K.K. president/CEO Keiichi Ishizaka has been promoted to chairman/CEO, effective immediately. Based in Tokyo, he will report to Universal Music Group Asia Pacific region president Max

Universal Music K.K. president/CEO Keiichi Ishizaka has been promoted to chairman/CEO, effective immediately. Based in Tokyo, he will report to Universal Music Group Asia Pacific region president Max Hole.

Ishizaka, who left Toshiba-EMI in 1994 to head UMKK, has also signed a new long-term contract with the company. The position of chairman had been vacant since Hiroyuki Iwata left that post in March 2004 to become an adviser to the company, from which he retired in March 2005.

According to sources at Universal, Ishizaka's role will be very much that of a "hands-on" chief executive; all of the company's major label divisions will continue to report to him. This was not the case with Iwata.

"I am delighted that Kei has agreed to a new, long-term contract, "Hole said in a statement. "His promotion is in recognition of the tremendous results achieved by Universal Music Japan over the past couple of years, including the modernization of the company, particularly its domestic A&R structure."

Commented Ishizaka: "I am very happy and excited about my new role. To me, Universal Music means great artists, great people, great assets and, of course, great music. It is almost religion and philosophy to my whole life."