Kei Ishizaka is to retire from his post as Universal Music Japan (UMJ) chairman at the end of October.

Ishizaka had occupied the role of non-executive chairman of the Tokyo-based major since Nov. 1 2009.

The respected music exec first joined Universal in 1994 when he was appointed UMJ president (then PolyGram K.K.).

Ishizaka, who will continue to serve as chairman/CEO of national labels body the Recording Industry Association of Japan (RIAJ), will remain at UMJ on a consultancy basis. No announcement has been made regarding a replacement for the role of chairman.

The news that Ishizaka was to retire from his post was confirmed in an internal memo from COO of Universal Music Group International (UMGI) Max Hole, who paid tribute to Ishizaka "extraordinary 16 years of leadership."

"During that time, he transformed our business in one of the most important music markets in the world," said Hole, who added that "the entire music business [had] gained from Kei's determination, influence and success."