Sony BMG Revamps German Operations

Sony BMG has made several management and structural changes at its German operations.

Sony BMG has made several management and structural changes at its German operations.

The company will shut down the BMG Berlin domestic unit and will integrate national repertoire into Munich-based Sony BMG.

As a result of the shift, Boris Löhe and Andre Selleneit -- former managing directors of Sony Music Berlin and BMG Berlin, respectively -- will not be part of the executive structure of the merged Sony BMG, although they may still remain associated with the company.

Sony BMG Germany's international repertoire division will be based in Berlin under former Sony Music MD for international Willy Ehmann. He will be responsible for marketing and promoting international Sony BMG product.

The company's rock/pop unit will be overseen by former Gun Records MD Wolfgang Funk. Sony BMG's Gun label group comprises the Gun, Subword and Supersonic labels.

Ehmann and Funk report to Maarten Steinkamp, head of Sony BMG's continental Europe operations and chairman/CEO for Germany/Switzerland/Austria.

Also exiting is former BMG sales director Paul Kölbl, who has spent more than 20 years at the company. Sony Music VP of sales Wolfgang Orthmayr will coordinate all of the amalgamated company's sales activities. Orthmayr joined Sony in January 2003 after two decades with retailer World Of Music. In his new post, he reports to Sony BMG COO Rolf Gilbert, who, until recently was VP of legal and business affairs, Europe, for BMG.

Talks are being held with Löhe, Selleneit and Kölbl in an attempt to find roles for them outside the fixed management team, a spokesman for Sony BMG says.

The new Sony BMG will have 300 employees in Berlin, Munich, Bochum and Hamburg. Insiders suggest that 60-80 jobs will be cut in Germany.