Among the topics discussed by Sony Music executives at a company meeting over the weekend: the impending exit of Columbia Records president Ashley Newton, sources tell Billboard.
According to insiders with knowledge of the veteran A&R man's plans, Newton is headed to Capitol Music Group, where chairman Steve Barnett awaits his arrival at the company's Hollywood tower with open arms. Newton is expected to hold a dual title of CMG president and evp of creative/special Projects for Universal Music Group. The timetable is still unclear.
The two Brits go back decades and worked together during Barnett's own Sony days (Barnett served in various roles at Epic Records -- including president -- from 1996 to 2004, then moved over to Columbia as chairman), specifically on projects like Adele. More recently, Newton played a key role in Jeff Lynne's soon-to-be-released album under the Electric Light Orchestra banner, All Alone in the Universe, due out Nov. 13.
The Los Angeles-based Newton previously held A&R stints at RCA Records, Virgin Records U.K., has worked closely with Daft Punk and Pharrell Williams, and got his start at Island Records under industry legend Chris Blackwell.
A CMG rep declined comment. Sony Music did not respond to Billboard's request for comment.