Shaun James, chairman/CEO of Warner Music Australasia, is to leave the company next month. He has been appointed deputy GM of network sales at the free-to-air national Ten Network.

Shaun James, chairman/CEO of Warner Music Australasia, is to leave the company next month. He has been appointed deputy GM of network sales at the free-to-air national Ten Network.

James told the company's staff Friday evening: "I've been given a chance to learn new things, and I want to leave at a time when I'm feeling very positive about the music industry."

James joined Warner Music Australia 14 years ago as promotions manager. He moved up through the ranks, becoming state manager for New South Wales and, for five years, director of sales and marketing. When he was appointed as the company's chairman and CEO in 1999, he was just 31 years old. He was given additional regional responsibility for New Zealand in 2001.

Regarded as an astute music man, James built a strong management team, and guided Warner toward embracing new technology. He had multi-platinum success with signings Taxiride, the Whitlams, Pacifier and the Superjesus.

James is vice chairman of the Australian Record Industry Association (ARIA) and chairman of the Phonographic Performance Company of Australia. He also sits on the boards of Digital Audio Technologies of Australia and the Entertainment Distributors Company.

It is not known who will be his replacement at the Sydney-based major. Lachie Rutherford, president of Warner Music Asia Pacific, will oversee Australia and New Zealand until a successor is appointed.

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