The latest restructuring move at EMI sees prominent London-based exec Jean-Francois Cecillon stepping down as EMI Music’s president of A&R labels, international, and president Europe, Middle East and Africa.
Cecillon’s departure, which an EMI statement says will be effective “at the end of next week” is described by the company as an “amicable agreement.”
EMI has appointed Billy Mann and David Kassler to replace Cecillon as, respectively, president of A&R labels international and president, video Europe, Middle East and Africa.
Mann became EMI Music’s chief creative officer earlier this year and takes his new responsibilities as an additional role, assuming direct responsibility for artist development in all countries outside North America and the United Kingdom.
EMI says he will work closely with Nick Gatfield, who joins EMI Music as president of A&R labels, North America and U.K., on July 15.
EMI Music president, U.K. & Ireland Kassler now takes regional responsibility for business and financial delivery in Europe/Middle East/Africa. Ashley Unwin, acting head of North American and U.K. A&R until Gatfiled’s arrival, assumes Kassler’s former duties.
Mann and Kassler both report to EMI Music president and COO Chris Roling. Mann also reports to EMI Group executive chairman Guy Hands in his chief creative officer role.
In the statement, Hands thanked Cecillon for “his many contributions to EMI.” He added: “[Cecillon] has consistently delivered on financial targets for his region. He has also nurtured great talent — both artistic and executive — and led a strong and united team over the past four and a half years.”
It is the second time Cecillon has left the company in the past 10 years. He exited his role as president/CEO of the EMI Records Group U.K. and Eire in 1998. He had held that position since May 1995, when he was promoted from his post of divisional managing director of the EMI label. Previously, he had worked for PolyGram and EMI in France.
Cecillon personally signed Robbie Williams to EMI’s Chrysalis imprint, but departed from the major in April 1998. Late that year, he joined games company Sega Europe as CEO, overseeing the launch of the Dreamcast console.
He left Sega in 2001 and subsequently became chairman of the Music Matrix, the U.K. marketing firm which developed the “46664” AIDS awareness and fundraising campaign.
Cecillon returned to the EMI fold EMI in March 2004, initially as president then chairman/CEO of EMI Music Continental Europe. In January 2007, he was named chairman/CEO of new division EMI Music International; he took his current two roles on April 16 this year.
In a statement today, Cecillon said: “Now the shape of the new organisation is complete, the time is right for me to step back. I leave a lot of great friends in EMI and in its extended family of wonderful artists, and I encourage them to make the most of what I believe will be a new phase of opportunity for everyone associated with this great company.”
According to EMI, Cecillon is “in discussions” with the company about taking on a senior advisory role.