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Rob Stringer promoted to top job at Sony Music

By | Published on Wednesday 19 October 2016

Sony Music

Rob Stringer has been announced as the new CEO of Sony Music Entertainment, taking over from incumbent Doug Morris who will transition into the advisory role of Chair at the major next April.

Stringer, who currently heads up Sony’s Columbia Records division in the US, has long been mooted as a leading candidate for the top job at the major, even before former Universal Music chief Morris was hired to run the company in 2011. Back then Stringer’s elder brother Howard was in charge of parent company Sony Corp, though that arguably worked against him, as putting the younger Stringer in charge of the conglom’s recorded music business at that time may have seemed like nepotism.

Rumours that Stringer would finally get the top job at the Sony record company had increased in recent months, and yesterday that appointment was confirmed. He will report into Sony Entertainment CEO Michael Lynton in his new role.

Confirming the promotion, Lynton said yesterday: “Rob Stringer is one of the most skilled and successful executives in the music industry. His efforts and achievements at Columbia have contributed immeasurably to the overall strength of Sony Music worldwide”.

He went on: “Not only is he a tremendous developer of talent and nurturer of stars who has overseen numerous massive hits, but also he is an innovator who understands how to grow revenue and market share in the rapidly changing music business. His ability to adapt to meet the needs of artists and fans in a dynamic marketplace that mixes digital audio, visual media and physical goods makes him the perfect fit to head the company moving forward. I am THRILLED to have him leading Sony Music’s next chapter”.

Stringer himself said: “As someone who has spent his entire career at Sony Music, it is a tremendous honour to be named CEO. I would like to thank [Sony Corp CEO] Kaz Hirai and Michael Lynton for believing in the value and power of music, and for their continuing support of me. I’d also like to extend a special thanks to Doug for both his friendship and mentorship to me personally, as well as for the great leadership and service he has provided to Sony Music”.

Looking forward with a little smattering of optimism, he added: “This is a time of enormous opportunity and change for the music business. I am excited to work with the great team we have built at Sony Music to continue to be a champion for artists, and further adapt and grow the business as we meet the challenges ahead”.

Stringer’s promotion means that, while with the demise of EMI there is no longer a UK-owned music major, British execs are now in charge of the two biggest recorded music companies in the world. So basically, it’s all our fault.

Lynton also found a little time in his schedule to thank Morris for his dedication and continued commitment to Sony Music, saying: “I want to thank Doug for his dedication and continued commitment to Sony Music”. Yeah, why not?

“He has been an innovative force in the music business for over five decades”, Lynton added. “I look forward to working with him in this next phase of his outstanding career. In his new advisory role he will report directly to me. Since 2011, he has expertly led Sony Music through some of the most transformative and challenging issues facing the music industry, while each year increasing the company’s market share and profitability. His passion for music, devotion to artists and tireless energy has made Sony Music the industry leader it is today”.

Morris was also on hand to deliver some final words. Said he: “I am extremely proud of the great leadership team and organisation we have built at Sony Music. Our focus on building and maintaining the best creative centres led by world-class executives has yielded fantastic success over the last six years. Rob is a passionate and competitive executive who understands the importance and value of hits, and like a heat-seeking missile, he locks onto great artists. Most importantly, he is one of the finest people I know. And moving forward, Sony Music Entertainment will be in the great hands of Rob Stringer. I look forward to continue working with Michael, Rob and the rest of the Sony family moving forward”.