In a surprise move, both COO Mark Shimmel and Senior VP of Promotion Erik Olesen have left Epic Records.
Both were new to their positions: Shimmel, who was touted as Epic head LA Reid’s number-two, was named COO just under a year ago, while Olesen was appointed in March but has been with the company since August of 2011.
Previously, Shimmel had held the position of head of music at Turner Entertainment Networks for the seven years, overseeing TNT, TBS, CNN, Cartoon Network and Adult Swim.
The two went back to LaFace Records, where Reid and partner Kenneth “Babyface” Edmunds discovered Usher and TLC, and the now defunct Arista, where Shimmel was svp of marketing and artist relations and Reid was CEO. In addition, Shimmel ran his own management company, had a hand in the induction of the first-ever hip-hop exhibit into the Smithsonian Institute and spent several years overseeing talent for the Kennedy Center Honors.
Reid recently stepped down from his judging gig at “X Factor” in order to focus on his “core business and the responsibility of running Epic Records,” he said.
Shimmel’s departure marks the third No. 2 executive Reid has jettisoned since he took over the label in July 2011. Initially, Jive executive VP/GM Tom Carrabba was set to move to Epic after Sony dismantled the Jive staff after chairman Barry Weiss defected to the Universal Music Group. But then, Reid brought in former Sony International executive Kevin Lawrie as chief operating officer, and Carrabba departed. Although Lawrie was never officially announced as CEO, his tenure was also short-lived, as Reid let him go in October 2011.
Abrupt departures at “the New Epic” have not been limited to the No. 2 position: EVP of marketing Angelica Cob-Baehler was let go in August after less than a year on the job, and was replaced by Scott Seviour in November.