Former EMI senior VP Shelagh Macleod died in London today (Jan. 21) aged 53 after a lengthy battle with cancer.

Former EMI senior VP Shelagh Macleod died in London today (Jan. 21) aged 53 after a lengthy battle with cancer.

Macleod retired early 2002 due to her illness, having held the global role of senior VP, leqal & business affairs at EMI Recorded Music since June 1998. She originally joined Virgin Records in 1984 as head of legal & business affairs, working closely with founder Sir Richard Branson and managing director Ken Berry.

In 1989 Macleod became Virgin's director of legal & business affairs, music division. She was named a director of the board of Virgin Music Group and of Virgin Records in 1992. After EMI acquired the Virgin operations that year, Macleod progressed within the parent company and was named senior VP, legal, business affairs & multimedia, EMI International three years later.

In a statement, EMI Group chairman Eric Nicoli says: "Shelagh was a hugely respected and admired executive in both the artist and the wider music community, as well as within EMI. Her outstanding achievements in the industry were acknowledged in 1996 when she won the prestigious [U.K. music industry] Woman of the Year award. Within EMI, Shelagh was a vibrant, dynamic and much loved colleague. We will all miss her."

Macleod is survived by her husband, radio presenter and former BBC director of radio Matthew Bannister, son Joseph and step-daughter Jessica. The couple married in 1989. A funeral service will be held Feb. 1 at 11:00 a.m. at St.Luke's Church in Chelsea, London.