Frank J. Welzer, chairman/CEO of Sony BMG's Latin region, will retire from the company at the end of 2005, ending a 37-year tenure with CBS, Sony Music and Sony BMG.

Frank J. Welzer, chairman/CEO of Sony BMG's Latin region, will retire from the company at the end of 2005, ending a 37-year tenure with CBS, Sony Music and Sony BMG.

Taking over the duties as head of Sony BMG's Latin region is Kevin Lawrie, who will assume the role of president of the Latin region for Sony BMG Music Entertainment effective Jan. 1, 2006. Lawrie is currently president of Sony BMG Norte, overseeing the United States, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic and Central America.

Welzer leaves after nearly 40 years, of which the last 12 were spent as the head of the company's Latin region, overseeing Latin America and the U.S. Latin division. Sony was one of the first label's to aggressively seek out Latin talent in the region and under Welzer's tenure the company signed and developed many of Latin music's most prominent superstars, including Ricky Martin, Shakira, Marc Anthony, Roberto Carlos, Gloria Estefan, Chayanne, Ricardo Arjona, Vicente Fernandez, Alejandro Fernandez and Zeze Di Camargo & Luciano.

Welzer will remain with the company as chairman of Sony BMG in Brazil and will also act as a key advisor to Lawrie.

Lawrie will now assume supervision of Sony BMG's operations throughout Latin America, in addition to his current duties.

Lawrie was president of Sony Mexico for four years before being appointed president of Sony Norte in 2003. That move brought together Mexico and U.S. Latin operations under his command.

Lawrie has been particularly active in signing and developing new talent, including names like Sin Bandera, Reyli and La Quinta Estacion. He will continue to be based out of Miami.

Questions? Comments? Let us know: @billboardbiz

Print