EMI Music's top executives Alain Levy and David Munns are out. Chairman and CEO Levy and vice chairman Munns have left the company with immediate effect, parent company EMI Group confirmed in a statement issued today (Jan. 12).

As part of the sweeping reshuffle, Eric Nicoli, executive chairman of EMI Group since July 1999, has been appointed CEO of EMI Group. Nicoli will assume duties for the management of EMI Music, but will relinquish his chairmanship. News of Levy and Munns' exit was leaked yesterday.

EMI's executive overhaul, which will come as a surprise to the recorded music industry, accompanies a restructuring program from which the company aims to generate £110 million ($213 million) in incremental cost savings each year. An EMI spokesman declined to comment on wider job cuts at the group.

Levy and Munns joined EMI in October 2001. Levy had been president and, latterly, CEO, of PolyGram until 1998, after which he became involved with funding a number of media companies through his own London-based company Ilchester Investments. He also served as a non-executive director of now-defunct European online music retailer Boxman.

Munns had left his own position at PolyGram, where he was senior VP of pop marketing worldwide, shortly after Levy. He ran his own Worldgrid Solutions consultancy and co-managed Bon Jovi until Nicoli's removal of EMI Recorded Music CEO Ken Berry paved the way for his return to the company, which he had served in the United Kingdom and Canada between 1972 and 1987. It is unclear how Munns' U.S. duties will be handled following his departure.

In a statement issued this morning to the London Stock Exchange, the listed company warned that EMI Music's second half performance to date "has been below prior expectations" in terms of revenues and profits. It blames "weak market conditions, particularly over the Christmas period," and "lower than expected sales from EMI Music's portfolio of second half releases to date."

Stock in EMI Group was down 6.14% to 248.25 pence in morning trading on the LSE.

Meanwhile, John Gildersleeve, currently non-executive deputy chairman of EMI Group and senior non-executive director, is named non-executive chairman of EMI Group.

Martin Stewart will continue in the role as CFO of EMI Group with responsibilities for the management of EMI Music's finance function.