Chris Cracknell, who has overseen the musical policy at U.K. reggae specialist Greensleeves Records for the past 30 years, is leaving the company at the end of March in order to pursue other interests.
Cracknell and his business partner Chris Sedgwick co-founded Greensleeves in 1975 as a record shop in the London district of West Ealing. The label launched in 1977, when it also moved to new premises in Shepherd's Bush, West London. It became one of the U.K.'s leading reggae labels with licensed-in and home-grown productions from a string of leading names such as Dr Alimantado, Eek-A-Mouse, Yellowman, Shabba Ranks, Gregory Isaacs, Sizzla and Elephant Man.
Greensleeves has a catalog of more than 400 albums. The label also scored a number of U.K. hit singles, most notably the 1993 No. 1, Shaggy's "Oh Carolina" (1993).
Greensleeves was run as a close partnership between head of A&R Cracknell and managing director Sedgwick. The duo sold the label Greensleeves was sold to U.K. independent music production company Zest Group plc in a £3.25 million ($6.45 million) cash and shares deal in March 2006, at which time Cracknell agreed to a one-year contract.
The company, including its publishing arm, continues to be headed on a day-to-day basis by Sedgwick; no replacement for Cracknell has yet been announced.
Greensleeves is currently based west of London in Isleworth, Middlesex, and also operates a sales and promotion office in New York.
In a statement, Cracknell thanked the producers, artists, writers and business associates involved with Greensleeves for "a lot of stress, a lot of strain... and a lot of fun." The statement added that Cracknell would continue to support Zest in its drive for continued growth for the label.