The British Phonographic Industry is undergoing a sea-change in its operational structure which will see the return of a two-pronged executive helm, Billboard.biz has learned.

Well-placed sources are tipping Tony Wadsworth, chairman/CEO of EMI Music U.K. and Ireland, to take the top job at the BPI as part of the shakeup.

Sources say Wadsworth, who is widely respected in the U.K. record business as one of his generation's most astute and successful executives, would take a new, part-time role as BPI non-executive chairman. It is understood Wadsworth was in the frame for a similar position with the BPI four years ago. A spokesperson for EMI declined to comment.

An EMI stalwart with more than 20 years' service, Wadsworth was appointed to his current position with the music major in January 2002. During his tenure, he has been closely involved in the success of numerous hit acts, including Blur, Radiohead, Coldplay, Gorillaz, Kylie Minogue, Robbie Williams and new, breakthrough artists KT Tunstall, Corinne Bailey Rae and the Kooks. From 2000-2003, he held the post as Brit Awards chairman.

Wadsworth's impending appointment as the BPI's most senior executive, sources say, would likely accompany the departure of incumbent BPI chairman Peter Jamieson, a move which has been tipped in the British industry over recent weeks. Jamieson declined to comment.

In tandem with the moving executive chairs, the BPI is understood to be re-introducing the director general position, a post last held by Andrew Yeates until April 2004.

An official statement confirming the changes is expected within the next week. A spokesman for the BPI declined to comment.

Jamieson, a veteran of the international recorded music business, was named to the full-time, paid role as executive chairman of the BPI, with effect from Oct. 1, 2002. It heralded a step away from the long-running trade body's traditions. Since its formation 30 years prior, the BPI chairmanship had usually been a nonpaying role held by the head of a major label.

Details of the new BPI structure are expected to be confirmed later this week.

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