N.A. chief takes worldwide role.

Andy Taylor, executive chairman of the Sanctuary Group, has reorganized the London-based company's senior ranks. Among the changes, U.S. CEO Merck Mercuriadis is upped to group CEO, overseeing business on a global basis.

Mercuriadis, who joined Sanctuary 18 years ago, will remain based in New York. The company says that since relocating to the States from London in 2000, Mercuriadis has expanded the U.S. business from a "small base" to one accounting for almost half of the group's annual revenue.

Recently, Mercuriadis was instrumental in signing Morrissey to Sanctuary for recording and management. The former Smiths singer's Sanctuary debut, "You Are the Quarry," has sold 1 million units since it was released in May, according to a label spokesman. Mid-week sales data from the Official U.K. Charts Co. indicate that the album next week will produce its fourth U.K. top-10 single this year, "I Have Forgiven Jesus."

As part of the realignment, a number of core managers have been upped to worldwide roles.

Aky Najeeb, CEO of Sanctuary Artist Services (ex-North America), becomes London-based CEO of Sanctuary Artist Services Worldwide. Joe Cokell, CEO of Sanctuary Records Group (ex-North America), becomes CEO, Sanctuary Recorded Music Worldwide. Both remain based in Britain.

Tom Lipsky is upped from president to CEO of Sanctuary Records Group North America. He will remain based in New York and Raleigh, N.C.

Meanwhile, Peter Asher and Carl Stubner, co-presidents of Sanctuary Artist Management North America, become president and CEO, respectively, of the unit. Both are based in L.A.

Bill Leibowitz, general counsel for Sanctuary Group U.S., takes the same title worldwide, based in New York.

Taylor confirms that he will continue as executive chairman on a "long-term" basis. Sanctuary co-founder Rod Smallwood remains president, Sanctuary Artist Services, based in London. Group finance director Mike Miller will also remain in his role.

Sanctuary is due to report full-year financial figures on Jan. 19, 2005.