Consultation process continues at London HQ.

Universal Music Group International stalwart Bert Cloeckaert is exiting the company as part of a restructuring of the strategic marketing department, has learned.

Sources say the reorganization of the department falls under a wider review of operations at UMGI's head office at St. James Square in London, where almost 300 staff are based. The review was instigated following the succession of Lucian Grainge as UMGI chairman/CEO on July 1, 2005.

Sources at the Midem trade conference in Cannes today (Jan. 22) told that a consultation process has begun at UMGI, in accordance with employment laws.

Cost savings achieved from the restructuring will be injected back into the company's creative infrastructure, insiders say. A UMGI spokesman declined to comment.

London-based Cloeckart, who until now was senior VP strategic marketing and commercial affairs at UMGI, is understood to be in talks on preserving links with the firm in a consultancy role.

The executive joined the Universal group in 1992, when it was called PolyGram, as managing director of Belgium.

He was promoted from senior VP of commercial affairs for Universal Music International (now UMGI) to senior VP of commercial affairs and strategic marketing on Sept. 1, 2002. understands that the strategic marketing department, despite reaching its internal targets in recent years, is undergoing the structural shake-up as the group attempts to pre-empt future challenges in the field.