Andy Taylor is to step down as executive chairman of financially-pressed Sanctuary Group plc, the British company said today (Nov. 18). Taylor, co-founder of the London-based independent music firm, i

Andy Taylor is to step down as executive chairman of financially-pressed Sanctuary Group plc, the British company said today (Nov. 18).

Taylor, co-founder of the London-based independent music firm, is expected to retain the senior executive position. "He will still run the company," a spokesman says. Meanwhile, the search for a new non-executive chairman has begun, Sanctuary added.

Furthermore, the company's non-executive director Douglas McArthur today stepped down from the company's board after five years' service.

In a statement issued to the London Stock Exchange, Sanctuary said the realignment of its board is part of an overall business review. The company --which has lately enjoyed success with Morrissey, Robert Plant and Alison Moyet, among others -- announced recently it would initiate a review of its accounting policies.

In the face of deepening financial troubles, the company has scaled back its U.S. workforce and sold off its non-core books publishing division.

Sanctuary said in the statement that "the process of identifying new directors [non-executive and executive] and the process of restructuring current executive responsibilities is progressing well.” It added that further executive changes may follow. Stock in Sanctuary closed up 4.76% at 4.4p today.

Taylor co-founded Sanctuary as an artist management company in 1976 with business partner Rod Smallwood, with whom he managed metal act Iron Maiden. Through strategic acquisitions and organic growth, the company developed a 360-degree business model with interests in artist management, recorded music, music publishing, visual entertainment and merchandising.

It also owns a number of record catalogs, including Castle and Trojan. Talks with Warner Music on a buyout of Sanctuary collapsed earlier this year.

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