Kazu Koike has been named the new president and CEO of Universal Music LLC (Japan), effective Nov. 1, 2009.
Koike is being promoted from his current position of president/COO and will replace Kei Ishizaka, who renewed his contract and will become non-executive chairman of the label, continuing his 15-year association with Universal.
Max Hole, EVP and president, Asia-Pacific Region, Universal Music Group International, who Koike will report to, made the announcement. “Kei Ishizaka has led Universal Music in Japan to historic new heights in the past eight years,” said Hole in a statement. “I’m delighted that he has agreed to renew his association with the company, continuing to give us the benefit of his wisdom, experience and A&R vision.”
Hole continued, “In addition, we have in Kazu Koike one of Japan’s most successful executives. It’s enormously gratifying that we can promote from within our ranks, with another great music man for the exciting next phase in the development of our business.”
Koike joined Universal Music Japan (then PolyGram K.K.) in 1977, developing its international repertoire business and then widening his scope with domestic artists, including the establishment of Def Jam Japan. He was promoted to President/COO in January 2007, with overall responsibility for A&R, publicity and marketing activities of the company’s eight music labels.
Ishizaka shocked industry insiders in 1994 by leaving Toshiba-EMI and joining the Universal predecessor Polygram K.K.