Warner/Chappell chairman/CEO Les Bider is stepping down. He has been chairman of the Warner Music Group publishing company since the 1987 merger of Warner Bros. Music and Chappell Music.

Warner/Chappell chairman/CEO Les Bider is stepping down. He has been chairman of the Warner Music Group publishing company since the 1987 merger of Warner Bros. Music and Chappell Music.

Bider will stay on for an unspecified transition period to help his successor. WMG says that person will be announced at a later date.

Other W/C executives include president Rick Shoemaker and executive VP/GM Jay Morgenstern.

"After 25 rewarding years running Warner Music's music publishing division, I have elected not to extend my agreement when it expires at the end of the year," Bider says in a statement. "I wanted to make my intentions known this early in order to ensure a smooth leadership transition. I intend to work closely with my successor to help create a seamless passing of the baton and to do everything I can to ensure the continued prosperity of a company I have known and loved for the past quarter-century."

Bider joined Warner Bros. Music as CFO in 1981 after running his CPA firm for nearly six years, representing an extensive range of entertainment-industry clientele. At Warner, in addition to signing a significant deal with Elton John and Bernie Taupin, Bider engineered the acquisitions of Chappell Music, Intersong Music, Mighty Three Music and music education company CPP/Belwin while overseeing the company's worldwide operations.

WMG chairman/CEO Edgar Bronfman Jr. says in a statement, "Les has been at WMG since the creation of its publishing division, providing strong and steady leadership for more than two decades. During that time, he's presided over that division's growth from a $30 million a year operation to a business generating in excess of a half-billion dollars. He’s brought a vision to the business and a passion for the music that has taken Warner/Chappell to the very top of the music publishing industry. We will miss his presence and his leadership and wish for him continued great success."

W/C controls publishing rights to more than 1 million copyrights, including the songs of Cole Porter and the Gershwins, and a roster of artists such as Madonna, Dr. Dre and Sheryl Crow.