New owner Len Blavatnik has rearranged the executive suite at Warner Music Group. Edgar Bronfman Jr. is no longer CEO, but is now Chairman. And Stephen Cooper, who had been Chairman, is now CEO.
Bronfman is now expected to focus on helping Blavatnik’s Access Industries try to acquire another major record label. The Russian billionaire is not too secretly bidding to buy EMI, which was put up for sale by Citigroup after the bank became the owner of the record company in settlement of its loan to Guy Hands’ Terra Firma Capital. A number of private equity companies are believed to be in the bidding for EMI, along with Universal Music and Sony Music Entertainment.
“With the Access Industries transaction closed and WMG well-positioned for its next exciting chapter, it was clear that in order to best seize the strategic opportunities before us, we needed to deploy our team in the most effective and imaginative manner possible. Given my desire to focus on growth opportunities and Steve’s extensive background in management across a wide array of companies and industries, I am grateful that Steve accepted the offer to change roles and to serve as our CEO. I look forward to continuing our successful partnership,” said Bronfman in announcing the job swap.