In a move that has surprised insiders, EMI has appointed Latin music industry veteran Manolo Diaz as president/CEO of EMI Spain, Billboard.biz has learned.

In a move that has surprised insiders, EMI has appointed Latin music industry veteran Manolo Diaz as president/CEO of EMI Spain, Billboard.biz has learned.

Diaz will take over his new post in September. He will be based in Madrid and will report to Jean-Francois Cecillon, chairman/CEO of EMI Music Continental Europe. In turn, Simone Bose and Jose Perez, who were recently named joint GMs of EMI Music Spain, will report to Diaz.

Diaz, who has had a long career in Latin America and Europe, was most recently president of Latin America for PolyGram. When the company was acquired by Seagram in 1999, Diaz became chairman of Latin America for Universal Music International. He left in 2001 to set up an entertainment consultancy. However, Diaz never strayed far from his musical base, and in 2002 he was elected as the first chairman of the board of trustees of the Latin Recording Academy.

Diaz will begin his EMI tenure in September partly to accommodate his work with the Latin Grammys.

“My heart is with the Latin Grammys, and it will continue to be there,” he says. “I won’t be able to continue as chairman [of the board] but I will be alongside this project I began, the fifth Latin Grammys, until the end. Afterward, I’ll join this new adventure.”