Former BBC director general John Birt has joined the supervisory board of EMI Group, with immediate effect. The board is chaired by Guy Hands, CEO of the music major's new owners, the Terra Firma equity house.

In a statement issued today, Terra Firma claims Lord Birt's expertise in technology will prove invaluable as EMI transforms for the digital era.

Birt will be tasked with spearheading a review into whether EMI's resources and expertise are meeting its artists' requirements.

In the statement, Birt described EMI as an "iconic British institution with a worldwide reach, and an extraordinary heritage in nurturing and supporting great musical talent." He added, "It will be a privilege to help EMI in the next period of its history to face its challenges and to define and seize new opportunities."

As previously reported, Terra Firma has instigated a new governance structure, which will see the EMI board reporting into the new supervisory board. Supervisory board member Julie Williamson, a Terra Firma managing director, will focus on EMI's strategic business relationships.

"I am delighted that John has agreed to join me and Julie Williamson on EMI's supervisory board," Hands commented in a statement. "He is an excellent addition to the team, and he will be integral in contributing to a strategic plan that will aim for EMI to be the world's most innovative and consumer focused music company and the best home for musical talent."

Birt served as director general of the BBC from 1992-2000, having stepped up from deputy director general. After exiting the Corporation, he was appointed as strategy advisor to then-prime minister Tony Blair. In December 2005, he joined Terra Firma as an advisor. He has also worked for national broadcaster ITV, and for McKinsey's Global Media and Entertainment Practice advising firms on strategic change.