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Power Players

No. 19
Rob Stringer
& Steve Barnett

Chairman/CEO, Chairman/COO
Columbia Records
Millions And Millions Sold...

Columbia Records chairman/CEO Rob Stringer knows a good thing when he hears it. "When we signed this artist, we said this would be one of the most important signings ever for Columbia in America," he says of British songstress Adele, whose 21 was the best-selling album of 2011. Columbia chairman/COO Steve Barnett delayed the scheduled November 2010 release until February 2011, giving the label six months to set up the album and ensuring that it received the kind of marketing support that would put the artist over the top. 21 debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 with sales of 352,000 and has sold 6.1 million units total, according to Nielsen SoundScan. This week the album enjoys its 17th week at No. 1 on the Billboard 200. Columbia also scored last year with debut albums by Foster the People and J. Cole. Beyond artist development, the label has specialized in capitalizing on the popularity of online and TV phenoms like Susan Boyle, Jackie Evancho and Fox's "Glee." Under the leadership of Stringer and Barnett, the label ended 2011 with a current-album market share of 10%, highest among all labels, and had the second-largest share of total sales of albums and track-equivalent albums with 8.7%.

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