Steve Moss, SVP, finance/CFO of Universal Music South East Asia, has died aged 52, following a long battle with illness.

Based in Hong Kong, Moss played a key role in launching Universal Music's Asia/Pacific operations throughout the mid 1990s and helped oversee the integration of back office operations in Asia between the music major and PolyGram when the two companies merged in 1999.

The announcement of his passing was made earlier today (July 9) by Universal Music.

In a statement, Universal Music South East Asia president Sandy Monteiro paid tribute to Moss. He was, said Monteiro, "a key founding executive of our operations in Asia some 15 years ago, and was the steadying hand through good times and bad, taking us from that early foothold to where we are today as market leader."

"Steve left his mark not just on the company, but on the music industry in Asia as a whole, and we are all the better for it. Our heartfelt sympathies are with his family during this time of sorrow," he went on to say.

Educated at Colorado State University, Moss began his professional career at U.S. accountancy firm Arthur Andersen before taking several roles throughout Asia in the telecoms and cable TV industry, including overseeing the launch of Wharf Cable (later known as Cable TV Hong Kong). Having joined Universal Music South East Asia in 1995, he was promoted from VP/regional controller to VP of finance in Sept. 2000. He added stripes as CFO in July 2001 and promotion to SVP finance followed in July 2006.

In addition to his role at Universal Music SEA, Moss also held the post of chairman of IFPI's Asia/Pacific regional finance committee at the time of his passing.