Masato Matsuura was named president of Avex, Japan's biggest independent record company, at an emergency shareholders' meeting Sept. 28 in Tokyo. He replaces Toshio Kobayashi, who becomes the company'

Masato Matsuura was named president of Avex, Japan's biggest independent record company, at an emergency shareholders' meeting Sept. 28 in Tokyo. He replaces Toshio Kobayashi, who becomes the company's managing director.

The appointments follow a series of boardroom maneuvers in early August which saw Matsuura, the company's co-founder and senior MD, quit the company. In addition, Avex's previous chairman/CEO, Tom Yoda, was ousted from power and relegated to the position of honorary chairman. Yoda also exited as chairman/CEO of labels body Recording Industry Assn. of Japan (RIAJ), a post he had held since March 2003.

Matsuura and Yoda -- the respective creative and business brains behind Avex -- built up Avex from a small import-specialist company in the late 1980s to one of Japan's biggest record labels.

As part of the changes at Avex, cable-radio operator Usen has bought shares from Yoda, Matsuura and Kobayashi to become the label's biggest single shareholder, with a 22.38% stake in the company.

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