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Seymour Stein announces departure from Warner Music after 42 years

By | Published on Thursday 19 July 2018

Seymour Stein

American record industry veteran Seymour Stein has announced his departure from Warner Music after four decades working with the major. His announcement coincided with being handed the Trustees Award by Grammy owners the US Recording Academy.

Stein has been allied with Warner Music since 1976, when the label he had co-founded in 1967 – Sire – signed a distribution deal with Warner Bros Records, which subsequently bought the indie. He has had an assortment of roles at the major since then, as well as continuing to head up the Sire label. He recently published an autobiography detailing his career in the music industry.

Accepting his award, he said: “Writing and promoting my autobiography, ‘Siren Song’, along with the news of my Grammy Award, brought a flood of memories from my earliest days at Sire right up to the present”.

“I was very fortunate during my youth to learn from so many great indie label people, like Ahmet and Nesuhi Ertegun and Jerry Wexler at Atlantic, and my greatest mentor, Syd Nathan at King Records”, he continues. “I went on to work with so many other great indies around the world as Sire grew to become the legendary brand it is today. From the bottom of my heart, I want to thank all the amazing artists – far too many to name – who have called Sire home over the years”.

We don’t have to worry about disappointing anyone, so I can go ahead and name some of those “amazing artists”, which include Madonna, The Ramones, Talking Heads, Depeche Mode, Ice-T, The Cure and The Pretenders.

Stein’s departure from Warner at the age of 76 does not mean that he’s retiring though. He continued: “I’ve enjoyed much of my time at Warner, but in truth I long for my indie roots and the greater independence that I experienced back in the 70s, 80s, and 90s. So the time has come to move on to the next phase of my career”.

He added that he was leaving Sire “in the hands of Rani Hancock, whom I sincerely wish all the luck in the world”. Hancock was named President of Sire Records a year ago.

“Rest assured”, Stein concluded, “I intend to remain active, and I’ll be back in action again soon. I’m looking forward to the future and continuing to develop new artists in the music business that I love so much”.