Iconic Record Executive Lyor Cohen announced today he would be stepping down from his post as Warner Music Group’s Chairman/CEO of Recorded Music on September 30th.
His current role sees him oversee the company’s US label groups – The Atlantic Records Group, and Warner Bros. Records, as well as the company sales and marketing and retail distribution at WEA Corp. Besides also being on the Board of Directors, Cohen also looks after Rhino Entertainment and WMG’s marketing and catalogue division.
With much talk over who will replace him, rumour has it that former EMI CEO Roger Faxon might be his replacement. In the wake of Universal Music’s acquisition of EMI clearing the EU and FTC, Faxon stepped down from his role this past Friday.
Len Blavatnik, Chairman and founder of Access Industries, who purchased Warner last year, said, “I personally want to thank Lyor for his dedication and contributions to Warner Music. He has been both a business partner and personal friend and I wish him only the best.”
Stephen Cooper, WMG’s CEO, said, “Lyor Cohen has built something very special here. While we understand his desire to move on to his next challenge, the enduring success of our recorded music division will serve as a great testament to the progress we’ve made during Lyor’s time at WMG. We are grateful for Lyor’s contributions, and we wish him the best. I’m confident that given the strength of our talented management team in Recorded Music, we’ll be able to drive further success.”
Cohen himself, once the announcement was made, said, “To all the artists and employees who live and die for the music every day, and who personally sacrifice for the good of the creative process: ‘keep on keepin’ on’ in the tradition of a company that respects and honors the artistic community.”
Lyor Cohen has been an important driving force for a very long time as far as the music industry is concerned. Starting out in the mid-1980’s as an artist manager at Rush Communications, owned my Russell Simmons, where he worked with the likes of Run DMC, The Beastie Boys and LL Cool J, he then moved on to become President of Def Jam Records in 1988.
With no plans announced as of yet, who knows where Lyor and his years of experience will land next. More on the story as we get it.