Sony Music Label Group U.S. has a new executive structure in place, effective immediately. Michele Anthony has been named president of SMLG, in addition to continuing her role as COO of the group and
Sony Music Label Group U.S. has a new executive structure in place, effective immediately. Michele Anthony has been named president of SMLG, in addition to continuing her role as COO of the group and executive VP of Sony BMG Music Entertainment.
Additionally, Will Botwin has stepped down as chairman of Columbia Records Group. He is replaced by Steve Barnett, who was president of Epic Records.
Don Ienner, CEO of SMLG, who also previously held the title of president, tells Billboard.biz, “Michele and I are true partners. Giving her the president title really reinforces that.”
Anthony adds that taking on Ienner’s president duties will allow him to further focus on artist development and the creative efforts of the company.
Succeeding Barnett as president of Epic is Charlie Walk, who had been executive VP of creative marketing and promotion for Columbia Records Group. Steve Greenberg will continue as president of Columbia Records.
Ienner says Walk’s taking on the president role at a different label in the same family provides him with an important growth opportunity. Walk has been with Columbia since 1990.
“We really want to reward our team for all their hard work,” Ienner says. “In the past 21/2 years, since I was named president and CEO, Columbia has returned to profitability. We are very proud of that.”
In addition, as tipped last month in Inside Track, Lisa Ellis has been promoted from GM to president of Sony Urban Music (Billboard, Nov. 19).
In another change, Tom Donnarumma is named GM of Columbia Records. He was executive VP of sales for SMLG. Alan Price will take on the role of senior VP of finance and operations for SMLG.
Under the realignment, Anthony continues to report to Ienner. Barnett, Walk, Greenberg and Ellis report to Ienner and Anthony. Price reports to those two, plus Sony BMG CFO Kevin Kelleher. Donnarumma reports to Barnett.
For the year through Nov. 27, Columbia has a 6.6% share of the total U.S. albums market, with Epic garnering a 4.8% share, according to Nielsen SoundScan. That performance is down slightly from the 6.7% and 4.9% the two labels respectively had last year in the corresponding time period.
Columbia’s top acts include Destiny’s Child, Beyoncé, Bruce Springsteen and System of a Down, whose “Hypnotize” debuts this week at No. 1 on The Billboard 200. Key Epic acts include Ginuwine, Gretchen Wilson, Celine Dion, Shakira and Audioslave.
In a statement, Botwin says, “I’ve had a great ride over my last 10 years at Columbia Records. To be a big part of, and then to oversee the world’s premier record label has been a tremendous experience.”
Ienner says the new structure is key to further the success of SMLG. The current power struggle between Sony BMG CEO Andrew Lack and BMG parent company Bertelsmann has no bearing on this new structure, he says, adding that SMLG “is moving ahead as normal. This is a great way to start the new year.”