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Universal Music Group President of Digital Rob Wells to Exit

Sources inside the company say that Wells likely won't be directly replaced.

Universal Music Group president of global digital business Rob Wells has announced he is leaving the company after nearly 15 years’ service.

Wells had been overseeing the company’s digital business, coming to head up the digital effort corporate when Lucian Grainge, who he worked for in Europe, assumed the helm of the company.

Billboard International Power Players 2014: Universal Music Group’s Rob Wells 

Sources inside the company say that Wells likely won’t be directly replaced. Instead, UMG will take this opportunity to rethink how Wells responsibilities will be handled going forward, company sources said.

That’s what happened when Universal Music Group Distribution president and CEO Jim Urie left the company a few months back. At that time, the sales and marketing team were put under Urie’s No. 2, Candace Berry; while the data analysis team were moved under UMG executive VP/CFO Boyd Muir’s domain; and the brand marketing team went over to UMG exec VP of U.S. recorded music Michele Anthony.

“Together, we helped build Universal Music Group’s digital business from its infancy into a global leader. At every turn, we pushed the industry forward, making sure our business model adapted to the way that consumers wanted to listen to music while insuring that our artists shared in all the new revenue streams,” Wells says in an internal statement.

UMG Head Lucian Grainge: Music Business Is on the Mend

“Today, music from our incredible roster of artists is available for download at hundreds of online stores. Listeners can access tracks globally at dozens of music streaming services. Or they can watch the latest music videos from their favorite artist on Vevo and other sites. There are more ways to listen to music today than at any time in the long history of the industry — and I feel incredibly proud of our role in that accomplishment.”

Grainge paid homage to Wells and noted the “significance of what he accomplished while at UMG cannot be understated.  And for that, we will forever be thankful. I will miss Rob’s professionalism, his sense of humor and his commitment to our artists and labels. Rob leaves big shoes to fill and we will be making announcements in the coming days.”

Wells began his career in the mailroom of BMG, eventually rising to that company’s head of Internet and new media before moving to UMG U.K. He joined UMG in 2000 as the U.K. director of digital services.