Sanctuary Group chairman Robert Ayling and three non-executive directors are no longer on the board of the music company.

Ayling and his colleagues James Wallace, Tina Sharp and John Preston leave less than a fortnight after Universal Music Group's Aug. 2 announcement that it would buy the London-based music group in a deal worth £44.5 million ($87.68 million).

Wallace was senior independent non-executive director/chairman of the audit committee; Sharp served as chair of the remuneration committee, while Preston was a member of the audit and remuneration committee.

Sanctuary's board will now consist of chief executive Frank Presland and finance director Paul Wallace, the firm said a statement issued to the London Stock Exchange.

Sanctuary hired Ayling in April 2006 to solve some of the financial issues which had nearly brought the company into bankruptcy.

On his appointment, Ayling promised to "ensure proper standards of corporate governance and financial transparency and ensure the group delivers appropriate levels of performance."

Soon after, Ayling sacked company co-founder Andy Taylor as CEO, and elevated Presland, then CEO of Sanctuary-affiliated Twenty-First Artists Management, into the post.

A qualified solicitor with more than 20 years' corporate experience, Ayling is best-known in industry circles for his tenure as chief executive of British Airways plc from 1992 to 2000.

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