Lisa Zbitnew, president of Sony BMG Music Canada, has announced the company’s management structure. Meanwhile, as many as 60 of the 235 Sony and BMG Canadian staffers have been pink-slipped, and more cuts are coming Dec. 7, according to sources.
Neil Foster, most recently executive VP of operations for BMG North America, has been named GM of Sony BMG in Canada. Foster has held a range of label operating and corporate positions over the past decade.
Among other appointments, Shane Carter, who was VP of marketing at BMG Canada, takes the same role at the combined operation. Dave Toomey, former VP of marketing at Sony Canada, becomes VP of domestic marketing and international exploitation. Steve Simon, who was VP of sales for BMG, takes the same title at Sony BMG. Norman Miller, former VP of Information Services Technology and new media at BMG, becomes VP of digital business, IST and marketing services.
Most of the cuts were in A&R, sales, information technology and finance. Among the departing Sony executives are senior VP of sales Don Oates, director of national promotion Vel Omazic and VP of A&R Jennifer Price. Exiting from the BMG side are Larry MacRae, VP of national promotion, and Ivan Berry, director of international marketing, who also handled domestic A&R.
Despite the departure of the two A&R heads, Sony BMG will not immediately appoint replacements. Sony vet Vito Luprano will continue to head A&R in Quebec as senior VP. No immediate downsizing is expected from the company’s domestic artist roster.
Sony BMG Canada’s domestic roster consists of veteran acts Celine Dion, Garou, Leonard Cohen, Our Lady Peace, Chantal Kreviazuk and Jacksoul, and newcomers Kiesha Chante, Ryan Malcolm, Jeremy Fisher, Liam Titcomb and Kyprios. Sony BMG also distributes U.S.-based Canadian acts that include Avril Lavigne, Carolyn Dawn Johnson, Three Days Grace and Finger Eleven.
Industry sources estimate that the combined Canadian market share of Sony BMG Music Entertainment could reach 25%.
No announcement has been as to whether the headquarters of the new company will be in the current Sony or BMG premises in Toronto.
Zbitnew, the former president of BMG Canada, was named chief of Sony BMG in the territory on Sept. 30.