Wadsworth Steps Down At BPI

British Phonographic Industry chairman Tony Wadsworth is stepping down at the end of the year and appears to have found an opportunity in the private sector.

In the lead-up to Wadsworth announcing his intentions March 20, there’d been a lot of online speculation that he could be heading for a job with one of the UK’s major record companies.

“In recent years since leaving EMI, in addition to my BPI activities, I have enjoyed getting involved in several new ventures, commercial and non-commercial, but all music related,” Wadsworth said. “By relinquishing my duties at the BPI, I hope to make more time available to focus on these and selectively add to the portfolio.”

Before his seven-year stint chairing the BPI, Wadsworth – an Economics graduate from Newcastle University – spent 26 years at EMI. In that time he filled many roles at the company, including as managing director of EMI’s Parlophone label, which at various times had acts including Blur, Radiohead, Crowded House, Pet Shop Boys, Tina Turner and Queen.

He also oversaw the takeover of the Virgin label and achieved multi-million sales with newer signings such as Lily Allen, KT Tunstall, Corinne Bailey Rae and Kooks.

He’d worked for various record labels before joining EMI.

Wadsworth is expected to work with BPI chief exec Geoff Taylor on the appointment of a successor.

He’s also said he’ll continue his roles as a BRIT Trustee and BRIT School governor.

Universal Music UK chairman and chief exec David Joseph said Wadsworth “might have been in the music business a long time but he always brings a fresh perspective which has been an invaluable asset during his time at the BPI.”