Restructuring at EMI is continuing, with the company splitting its recorded music operations into three main business units: new music, catalog and music services.
EMI Music chief executive Elio Leoni-Sceti is presenting his new vision and strategic plan for the company to staff globally over the next three weeks via a series of presentations from him and his top team in cities around the world — including London, New York City, Los Angeles, Tokyo, Paris, Milan, Cologne. The series kicks off in London later today.
While EMI would not release details of Leoni-Sceti’s speech, Billboard.biz undersands staff will be told his strategy involves four key elements: consumer focus, innovation, strengthening artists’ relationships with fans and digital.
In the latest restructuring, Leoni-Sceti himself takes the lead at the new music division as president in addition to his overall chief executive role. He will be supported by a team that includes the company’s two most senior A&R-based executives, London-based Nick Gatfield and New York City-based Billy Mann.
Gatfield is president, A&R labels for North America and the U.K. & Ireland, while Mann is president, A&R labels international, covering the rest of the world. The team also includes a strengthened technology and consumer department under Los Angeles-based president of digital Douglas Merrill, who adds the title of new music COO.
The catalog division is headed by president Ernesto Schmitt, who will join EMI in December from his position as group development director at leading consumer electronics retailer DSG International, which operates the Dixons, Currys and PC World in the United Kingdom.
Schmitt was previously EMI Group’s senior VP of strategy and business development (2001-2002). He succeeds Terra Firma managing director Stephen Alexander, who has led the division as its interim president since March. Alexander now returns to his role at EMI parent Terra Firma.
In a statement, Leoni-Sceti said: “Ernesto is a growth manager, with a passion for music, who likes to build businesses and use technology to improve the consumer experience. He has a background in both the music and retail sectors, and has built his own internet businesses from scratch.”
EMI’s marketing departments will operate as a division which services both the new music and catalog business units.
The music services unit will be headed by Ronn Werre — previously executive VP of music licensing & synch/global sales.
Its area of operation will include commercial development and sales, (physical and digital), global synchronization/licensing and branding. The unit will also look to develop new services for EMI artists and other music companies.
Ahead of today’s meeting, in a note issued to staff yesterday about EMI Music’s first-half results, Leoni-Sceti said he was “pleased to report very strong financial and creative progress made in the first half of the financial year [April 1-Sept. 30].”
The note said EMI Music’s total revenues in the six month period were up slightly on the same period in 2007 to £482 million ($760.5 million). That figure included digital revenues which rose to £102 million ($161 million), a 37% rise on the same period in 2007. Physical sales, however, were down 3%.
EMI’s ongoing cost-cutting and claimed increases in efficiency plus strong performances from such artists as Coldplay and Katy Perry meant that the first-half revenues generated earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation of £59 million ($93.1 million), compared to a loss of £14 million ($22.1 million) last year.