The executive later turned RED Distibution into a notable force in indie distribution.
Sal Licata, former president of EMI Records and Chrysalis, died on Thursday, March 19 from injuries sustained in a fall. He was 77.
Licata had a 40-year career in the music industry, beginning as a record label executive and winding up as a distribution executive. Along the way, he was part of the Blue Thumb Records team for whom, by 1974, he was named president under chairman Bob Krasnow.
By 1980, Licata had become president of Chrysalis Records, heading it up during the time when the label had acts like Blondie, Pat Benatar and Billy Idol. In 1984-85 he was executive vp and gm of for Clive Davis' Arista Records, before moving over to distribution in May 1986, becoming president of the newly created RCA/A&M/Arista Sales & Distribution Co., which eventually would become BMG Distribution.