Warner Music Group announced today Kazuyuki "Kaz" Kobayashi as Chief Executive Officer for Warner Music Japan. Shuji Utsumi was also named Chief Operating Officer.
Kobayashi joins Warner from Sony Music Entertainment Japan where he worked as Corporate Executive overseeing the company's music TV assets, live venues, ticketing and magazine publishing. As CEO, he will report to Lachie Rutherford, President, Warner Music Asia Pacific, and oversee all of Warner's Japanese recorded music business, working with local acts and international talent in the country.
Utsumi will report to Kobayashi as COO, identifying new business models, developing operational plans and helping drive strategy and growth in the organization. He joins the company from Q Entertainment, a gaming development company that he founded.
"Kaz's creative vision and Shuji's consumer-focused expertise will add new levels of dynamism and innovation as we break extraordinary talent, forge new commercial models for the industry and deliver unique opportunities for our artists." said Stu Bergen, president, international, Warner Recorded Music, in a statement.
"I am thrilled to welcome Kaz and Shuji to Warner Music," said Rutherford added "They are both pioneering executives with exemplary track records and a wealth of entertainment experience. Kaz is one of Japan’s leading music professionals whose unrivaled A&R and marketing expertise has guided the careers of huge Japanese artists and global superstars. Shuji’s many business successes can be attributed to his sharp entrepreneurial instincts, strong operational knowledge and deep understanding of the wider opportunities to monetize music. I am confident that their combined skills, vision and commitment to innovation will ensure that we continue to offer the best home for extraordinary talent in Japan."
Kobayashi and Utsumi join Warner Music Japan on April 1, and will work alongside Honorary Chairman Kei Ishizaka until October.