UPDATE: Universal Music France CEO Pascal Negre tweeted that two former Universal employees were killed in the Paris attacks.
A Mercury Records employee was killed in the ISIS attack at Paris’ Le Bataclan on Friday (Nov. 13), Universal Music Group chairman/CEO Lucian Grainge confirmed in a heartfelt note to staffers on Saturday.
Thomas Ayad, an international product manager for Mercury, was part of the team and crew attending the Eagles of Death Metal concert Friday night. Ayad didn’t survive the horrific attack, but members of the rock band escaped the theater unharmed. EODM is part of UMe and Mercury France.
“This is an unspeakably appalling tragedy,” Grainge wrote in the note. “On behalf of everyone here at UMG, we extend our most profound sympathies to his parents and all of his friends and family.”
Grainge didn’t say whether any other UMG employees had been hurt or killed in the attack, but told UMG employees that he’d provide updates as new information surfaced. “Today is a dark day,” he wrote. “We are a family. Let’s support one another as we grapple with the weight of this darkness.”
At least 118 music fans were killed after terrorists opened fire on the concert hall crowd. Since the attacks — which also included numerous other shootings and a suicide bombing — Paris has shut down all public performance spaces.
Read Grainge’s full note below:
Today, I’m writing to you with a heavy heart.
We, like so many around the world, are struggling with last night’s horrific tragedy in France.
Paris is in our thoughts and prayers. We extend our deepest condolences to the families and loved ones of the victims as well as our fervent wishes for healing for all of those affected by this senseless violence.
This is especially painful and personal for all of us. As many of you know, the band Eagles of Death Metal is part of the UMe and Mercury France family. The band and its crew as well as our own teams from Mercury and other UMG staffs were present at the Bataclan theater for last night’s show.
At this point, we have confirmed that Thomas Ayad, an international product manager for Mercury Records lost his life in the attack on the theater. This is an unspeakably appalling tragedy. I cannot even begin to express the depth of my sorrow. On behalf of everyone here at UMG, we extend our most profound sympathies to his parents and all of his friends and family.
We will update you further as information permits. In the meantime, please send all healing thoughts and prayers for those affected by this heinous act.
Today is a dark day. We are a family. Let’s support one another as we grapple with the weight of this darkness.