Vivendi's Universal Music Group said Wednesday that Max Hole was stepping down from his role as chairman and CEO of Universal Music Group International, effective immediately.
"In January, Max contracted encephalitis, as a result of which he has suffered some memory loss," the company said. "While he is making progress towards a recovery, a full resumption of his responsibilities is not possible at this time. As Max’s recovery continues, he and the company will discuss projects in which Max will have continuing involvement."
Online medical dictionaries describe encephalitis as an inflammation of the brain.
Following his departure, the company’s regional heads outside the U.S. will report directly to UMG chairman and CEO Lucian Grainge.
Said Hole: "I have loved working at Universal, the best record company in the world. Lucian is an extraordinary person, both an exceptional creative and business executive for whom I have great affection. We have known each other for a very, very long time and I’m so glad we remain friends."
Grainge said: "Max Hole is one of the most talented and accomplished executives to have ever worked in the music business, with an undying passion for music. He has been one of our industry’s most effective champions, opening new markets and creating opportunities for artists and fans everywhere. Max’s contributions to Universal will be forever a part of the fabric of this company and our industry, and he leaves with our deepest gratitude and respect."
Hole joined UMGI in 1998 as senior vp, marketing and A&R. In 2004, he was promoted to the role of executive vp and subsequently added responsibility for digital, strategic marketing and commercial affairs, as well as Asia Pacific and Nordic/Central/Eastern Europe. He was appointed COO of UMGI in 2010 and in 2013 was appointed chairman and CEO of UMGI.