Top Exec at Warner Music Sweden Ousted Amidst Sexual Harassment Claims
A top executive at Warner Music Sweden was suspended from his role on Thursday (Nov. 16) amidst multiple allegations of sexual misconduct involving both Warner employees and artist signees, sources tell Billboard.
News about the ousting was first leaked by Swedish tabloid AftonBladet, which claimed that the exec not only made sexual advances towards young female employees and artists, but also promoted an unhealthy work culture including sustained alcohol abuse. AftonBladet left the exec and company in question anonymous, due to local rules and procedures about naming subjects accused of wrongdoing.
Music Business Worldwide then reported this afternoon that the exec was set to transfer to Warner Music’s London office in January 2018 prior to being suspended, and that internal management at Warner Music UK was unaware of the abuse allegations before extending their job offer. Sources confirm to Billboard that the anonymous company in question is understood to be Warner Music Sweden.
“We have a code of conduct regarding harassment of any kind and these allegations are being treated very seriously,” a spokesperson for the company said in a statement to AftonBladet. “We have suspended the individual concerned while a thorough independent investigation is conducted. We've also held an internal meeting in Stockholm to reiterate to our team the avenues available to make any complaints and how carefully and swiftly we will respond."
The news leaked on the same day that the Swedish daily newspaper Dagens Nyheter published an open letter signed by nearly 2,000 women working in the Swedish music industry -- including Zara Larsson, Robyn and members of Icona Pop, Shout Out Louds and First Aid Kit -- condemning rampant sexual harassment and the myriad environmental conditions, including alcohol abuse and grueling work hours, that lead to such activity.
The letter was inspired by hundreds of accounts of sexual assault, harassment and discrimination that were submitted over a closed Facebook group. It was not clear when the women’s experiences took place.