EMI Music France president Eric Tong Cuong is leaving the company after 16 month in the role.

EMI Music France president Eric Tong Cuong is leaving the company after 16 month in the role.

The announcement was made today (July 20) by London-based EMI Music Continental Europe chairman/CEO Jean-Francois Cecillon, who was in Paris meeting with staff. With immediate effect, Cecillon will add responsibilities as president of the French company until a successor is appointed.

Cecillon commented in a statement: "EMI Music France and the entire French music market have been through a very challenging period. It is time now to put this behind us and I am looking forward to helping the company regain a position of excellence in the French market."

Tong Cuong was appointed in November 2002 by then EMI Recorded Music Continental chairman/CEO Emmanuel de Buretel. He effectively began his role with EMI in February 2003. Previously he was president of leading French advertising agency BETC Euro RSCG. In 1996, he co-founded French independent music company Naïve with Patrick Zelnik.

During his tenure at EMI France, Tong Cuong oversaw a drastic restructuring of the company which resulted in the loss of 70 jobs, representing 20% of the workforce.

The CEO at a competitor says that Tong Cuong was faced with having to make rapid, drastic decisions whilst learning about the music business and the company.

"For two years, EMI France was managed directly by de Buretel who was also head of the European operations, and many structural decisions that could have been made smoothly then have been pushed back," comments the competitor. "As a result, Eric had to do all at once, in a period of crisis. That was tough."

EMI declined to comment of the future organization of the company.

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