Former EMI Music Australia chairman Mark Poston has returned to the record business and reunited with his former boss, Tony Harlow.
Following a year-long sabbatical, Poston has been appointed managing director for the Australian companies of Parlophone and Warner Bros. Records. He reports to Harlow, Warner Music Australia’s managing director. It was Harlow who had recruited Poston 13 years ago when the Brit was running the Australian company of EMI.
“I’m over the moon,” Poston tells Billboard.biz. “You couldn’t find two more iconic labels. We’ve got a great release schedule on both labels, a great line-up and incredible history.”
Poston announced in January 2013 that he would leave EMI while the music major’s sale and integration into Universal neared completion. At the time, he was chairman and senior VP marketing, Australasia at EMI Music Australia and was the youngest head of the major music companies Down Under.
Sydney-based Poston joined EMI Music Australia in 2000 as label manager, Virgin Records before rising to head of Capitol Records in Australia. In 2005, he relocated to London as director, global marketing and director of EMI U.K. frontline label Angel Music Group/Charisma. He returned in 2008 to lead EMI Music Australia.
Speaking on his “gap year,” Poston says, “It was a scary and exciting time to walk away from EMI after 13 years and take some time out for me. I had no idea if I would come back to the industry, or what I was going to do. I couldn’t be more happy with the way it’s worked out. I’m so happy.”
Under his leadership, EMI's Australian company enjoyed successes with a string of homegrown signings, including Empire of The Sun, Angus and Julia Stone, Birds of Tokyo and 360, while the affiliate's "She Can DJ" competition became a global project.
Universal Music Group sold Parlophone's roster to Warner Music for £487 million (about $765 million) to appease competition authorities. The transaction cleared the path for Universal to press ahead with its acquisition of Parlophone's former parent, EMI.