Veteran EMI executive Helmut Fest will return to the company as acting chairman of EMI Music Austria and Switzerland, the firm said today (Nov. 28).

Veteran EMI executive Helmut Fest will return to the company as acting chairman of EMI Music Austria and Switzerland, the firm said today (Nov. 28).

Fest will temporarily fill the void left by Albert Manzinger, managing director of EMI Music's operations in Austria and Switzerland, who has exited to "explore a new career direction," according to EMI. With effect from Dec. 1, Fest will oversee operations in both businesses until further notice.

He will report to EMI Music Continental Europe chairman/CEO Jean-Francois Cecillon and Manzinger, who will leave the company two weeks later after a handover period.

"Despite the fact that I left EMI in 1999 to take a break, and later to pursue other creative music activities," comments Fest in a statement, "my heart has always been with EMI, where I have spent the vast majority of my life.

Fest retired in 1999 as EMI Europe VP/artist acquisition. Prior to that, he served for an eight-year stint as president of EMI Music in Germany, Switzerland and Austria, during which time he signed such acts as Chumbawamba, the Moffatts, the Kelly Family and Joe Cocker.