EMI Music has confirmed the appointment of Google executive Douglas Merrill to spearhead its digital music activities.

Merrill joins the music major in the new role as president, digital business, EMI Music, with effect from April 28.

The post, according to EMI, combines for the first time leadership responsibility for all of the company's digital strategy, innovation, business development, supply chain and global technology activities.

Reporting to EMI Group chairman Guy Hands, Merrill will be based at Capitol Tower, EMI Music's L.A. HQ.

In a statement, Hands describes the recruit as "a proven agent of change who combines broad business intellect with a deep engineering background."

Hands adds, "He has been a key member of the management team at Google which has created more value than any other consumer internet company by focusing relentlessly on tools that enable consumers to do things more effectively. His experience, talents and his ability to drive innovation will be enormously valuable to EMI and to its artists."

Merrill joined Google in 2003, and has served until recently as the search engine's chief information officer and VP of engineering, tasked with all billing and revenue technology and processes for Google worldwide, among his duties.

Prior to that, he was a senior VP at Charles Schwab and Co, one of America's largest financial services providers.