EMI Shakeup Going On

Big shifts in the recording business continue, with EMI’s Capitol Music Group President Lee Trink parting ways with the company and Capitol chairman Jason Flom possibly exiting, too.

Trink told the Wall Street Journal the decision to step down was his, based on a "philosophical difference" between him and EMI’s new owners, Guy Hands’ Terra Firma Capital Partners, which acquired the company last year for £3.2 billion ($6.31 billion at current exchange rates).

"Their view is that there is no local management," Trink said. "There is no such thing as a president of Capitol Records going forward. I believe that’s a mistake – and not just because I happen to be the president of Capitol."

Hands has said he wants to cut as much as £200 million in annual costs and centralize operation functions within the company. The WSJ noted that Hands is in the process of reducing employee numbers worldwide from 4,500 to 2,500.

The paper reports that, according to people familiar with the matter, EMI is negotiating the exit of Flom, who oversees EMI’s recorded-music operations in North America.

Effective July 1st, executive Nick Gatfield will be the head of A&R for the U.S. and the United Kingdom. That would make Gatfield senior to Flom – an apparent violation of Flom’s employment contract, which would make Flom entitled to a nice settlement payment, people familiar with the situation reportedly say.