Lucian Grainge Issues Memo on Outgoing International Chief Max Hole

Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic
Chairman and CEO of Universal Music Group Lucian Grainge, CBE attends the premiere of "Amy" at ArcLight Cinemas on June 25, 2015 in Hollywood, California. 

As Billboard reported yesterday, Universal Music Group International chairman Max Hole has announced he will be stepping down following a diagnosis of encephalitis earlier this year. The illness has resulted in memory loss affecting the respected industry veteran, who began his career over 40 years ago.

To wit, UMG chairman and CEO Lucian Grainge penned a glowing memo to staff outlining Hole's history with the company and hopes for a speedy recovery -- and return to the label.

Dear Colleagues:

As many of you know, this past January, Max Hole contracted encephalitis while traveling in India. As a result he has suffered some memory loss which has prevented him from returning to work.

Max’s absence has been difficult for a great many of us throughout all of UMG. As for myself, I can tell you that I’ve missed him, both personally and professionally, every single day he’s been gone. Max has been my close friend and confidante for almost 30 years.

While his condition has consistently improved over the past nine months and his recovery is making progress, Max has informed me that he has decided, in the best interests of the company, to step down as Chairman and CEO of UMGI, effective immediately. Going forward, our region heads will report directly to me while the central UMGI functions in London will report to Boyd. More organizational updates will follow. I want to thank all of Max’s direct reports who have risen to the challenge of Max’s absence and managed our international business without missing a beat.

Max is extremely proud that he has been a part of the UMG family for nearly two decades and has derived great happiness from all of our company’s recent accomplishments. It’s hard to find someone who loves this company and this business more than Max does, and we owe it to him to continue our work with the same level of professionalism and passion he brought to the office every day. I’m hopeful that as his recovery continues, he’ll be able to work with us on projects in the future.

In the meantime, please join me in thanking Max. To list all the things we have to thank him for would just embarrass him. Instead, let me just simply say, thank you, Max.