New York-based Maarten Steinkamp, president of BMG International, will temporarily fill the void left by the departure of BMG Germany/Switzerland/Austria president Thomas Stein.

New York-based Maarten Steinkamp, president of BMG International, will temporarily fill the void left by the departure of BMG Germany/Switzerland/Austria president Thomas Stein.

Stein, who split from the Munich-based company Friday, became the second significant casualty of BMG's executive reshuffle last week. In the U.S., BMG COO Michael Smellie was appointed to oversee Arista Records following the departure of president/CEO Antonio "L.A." Reid (Bulletin, Jan. 14). The changing of the guard on both sides of the Atlantic foreshadows anticipated approval of BMG's merger with Sony Music.

The G/S/A role is the latest for Steinkamp, who added responsibility for BMG Latin last fall, following the exit of Rodolfo Lopez-Negrete. Meanwhile, sources say approximately half of the BMG U.S. Latin staff was laid off last week, leaving about 20 employees. Sources say many artists will be dropped as well. The cuts are seen as a further precursor to the merger. A BMG Latin spokesperson had no comment.

Stein has spent 30 years in the music business, 18 of those with BMG. Following the death of BMG chairman/CEO elect Rudi Gassner in December 2000, Stein became executive VP of worldwide A&R, and later president of BMG Europe. Stein was named president of G/S/A in January 2003 as part of a realignment of the company's global structure.