The majority of Warner Music New Zealand's senior management team was laid off on Friday (March 12). Longtime managing director James Southgate, financial director Geoff Shearning and marketing manage

The majority of Warner Music New Zealand's senior management team was laid off on Friday (March 12). Longtime managing director James Southgate, financial director Geoff Shearning and marketing manager Peter Andrew were among the executives issued pink slips.

Southgate says the management team will remain onboard until the end of March. Staffers from marketing, accounts, IT and telesales were also released, reducing the head count to 11 from 19. It is unclear whether Warner Music Australia chairman Shaun James will step in to assume operational control of its neighboring affiliate.

Warner Music New Zealand's local roster currently includes singer/songwriter Anika Moa and rock acts Pacifier and the Feelers. Although the company will maintain a small sales and promotions team, industry observers anticipate fewer local signings.