Warner Internal Memos: Bronfman, Blavatnik On Chairman Changes
Warner Internal Memos: Bronfman, Blavatnik On Chairman Changes

Dear Colleagues:

As Warner Music Group begins its next chapter, well-positioned for some truly exciting and unprecedented opportunities, I am pleased to announce we are adding a new member to our management team: Steve Cooper. Effective today, Steve will be serving as WMG's Chief Executive Officer, working out of our New York office and I will serve as Chairman of the Board of WMG, continuing to work out of both our New York and London offices. Lyor and Cameron will remain in their positions, heading up Recorded Music and Music Publishing respectively, reporting directly to Steve.

I'd like to take a moment to explain to you the rationale behind this change:

Capitalizing on the opportunities before us will require an intensive and all-consuming effort from a broad and deep management team. For this reason, following the close of the sale and the transition of WMG from a public company to a subsidiary of Access Industries, in several discussions with Len and the Access team, I conveyed my strong conviction that my energies on behalf of the company would best be directed toward transformative transactions and long-term strategy. Len was supportive of my wishes provided we could identify the executive to whom I could hand off day-to-day management responsibilities. Fortunately, in Steve Cooper we have that executive.

Steve has a long and distinguished career of service to many companies. Having worked very closely with him over the past several months, I can tell you that he is a highly effective operator who brings a wide range of skills and experience to WMG, most recently, of course, as WMG's Chairman. And, as a longtime partner to Len, Steve knows the Access team well and will be an effective liaison between them and WMG. More information about Steve's background can be found in the press release we are issuing today (see: LINK).

Now, a few thank yous are in order. First of all, I want to thank Len and Access for being amenable to my kicking myself upstairs and understanding that I came to WMG as both an investor and operator-a dual role in which I have served throughout my career. After leading the acquisition from Time Warner, transforming the company, and selling it to Access, I believe I can add greater value by addressing the challenges WMG faces on a macro scale, while handing over the day-to-day reins to Steve.

Second, I want to thank Steve for being willing to swap roles with me. After collaborating so well with him, and sensing the energy and enthusiasm he brings to operating a company, I had no doubt that Steve was serving in the role that was more natural for me at this stage in my WMG tenure, while I was in the role in which Steve could bring to bear his many talents.

But the biggest thank you I've saved for last. And that's to all our amazing employees around the world. Thank you. In transforming WMG, together we've performed something of a miracle. Despite the industry's complex transition and the global economic downturn, we have grown profitability, improved our competitive position, and developed new business models, all while continuing to focus intensely on our core mission: artist development. A company's true value is the quality of its employees, and you are the finest group of employees with whom I have ever worked. None of what we have accomplished could have happened without the extraordinary talent that is the WMG team.

I'm excited for what the next chapter holds. And I look forward to writing that chapter with all of you.

Please join me in welcoming Steve to the team. As always, please email me any questions or comments you may have.


Warner Music CEO Edgar Bronfman, Jr. and Chairman Stephen Cooper Switch Jobs