Although Universal-Motown recording artist Erykah Badu tweeted that “Motown folded” on Wednesday afternoon, top executives at Universal told Billboard.biz that although the label is undergoing restructuring the the wake of Sylvia Rhone’s departure last month, it is not folding.
At the time of Rhone’s departure, UMG planned to begin interviewing candidates to replace her, although what title that person will get depends on the qualifications he or she brings to the job. With Barry Weiss serving as the chairman/CEO of Island Def Jam and Universal Motown Republic Group, it is not clear that the replacement will hold the title of president, insiders said.
“They are searching for someone to bring in in a senior creative role,” one UMG insider familiar with the situation told Billboard.biz. “If it’s someone that’s really creative-oriented, then it might be a different title, but if they find someone creative” with business qualifications, then it could be president.
GM Pat Monaco continues to oversee the day-to-day operations of Universal Motown.
In a statement, the company said at the time, “We remain committed to [Motown] as a strong presence in the contemporary music scene. We will soon announce important additions to the staff and will further invest in building its artist roster so Motown can continue to bring to market the highest quality music that is best positioned to succeed artistically and commercially.”
Billboard will have more on this situation as it develops.