Veteran German industry executive Gerd Gebhardt has confirmed he will stand down as chairman of labels body BPW and the German group of the IFPI at an Oct. 27 members meeting. Billboard.biz reported t

Veteran German industry executive Gerd Gebhardt has confirmed he will stand down as chairman of labels body BPW and the German group of the IFPI at an Oct. 27 members meeting. Billboard.biz reported the move yesterday (Sept. 19).

"At his own request he is therefore not available for a third period of office but will remain close to the sector in future with responsibility as executive producer of the Echo (Awards) and will be able to follow through his own projects," the trade bodies said in a statement today.

The boards decided today that the future chairman will work on an honorary basis. As anticipated, edel CEO Michael Haentjes will be proposed for the role at the October meeting.

"The board of the recording associations has regretfully taken note of Gerd Gebhardt's decision and thanks him for his outstanding commitment," the trade bodies added. "The important change in copyright law, among others achievements, was made during his period of office."

In October 2001, Gebhardt was appointed to the full-time role as chairman of Germany's three record industry bodies -- the BPW, the German IFPI and the German Phono Academy, which oversees the Echo Awards. It was first time the three associations were overseen by a central executive. The trade groups, which have combined membership of more than 400 members, subsequently relocated to the capital Berlin from Hamburg.

Gebhardt has held various senior roles in the recording industry over the past 30 years. Most recently, he was Warner Music president for Central and North Europe from 1997-2001.

He is recognized as the "Father of the Echo" since he helped establish the annual industry gala in the early 1990s.