Within a week, more like three days, two international music CEO’s stepped down from their duties: Kei Ishizaka from Warner Music Japan and Nick Gatfield from Sony Music UK respectively. These decisions are surprising and sent shockwaves through the music industry.
First, Kei Ishizaka decided to officially retire after 46 years in the industry and after two years and half after serving as CEO/Chairman for Warner Music Japan. He joined Warner Music back in 2011 after serving as a senior executive for Universal Music and Toshiba-EMI. Lachie Rutherford, the president of Warner Music Asia Pacific had this to say about Ishizaka retirement:
“Kei is one of the most accomplished and widely respected figures in the evolution of the modern music business in Japan, and his impressive contributions have played a pivotal role in shaping the country’s popular culture for more than four decades.Kei expertly led Warner Music Japan through a key transitional period in the company’s history, and he has set it on course for a bright and prosperous future. All of us at Warner Music deeply appreciate Kei’s tremendous contributions to our company, and he will be missed by everyone who had the privilege of working with him.”
Moreover, Kei Ishizaka had this to say:
“It has been a true honor to oversee Warner Music Japan for the past two and a half years. It is a company with a rich history and a tireless devotion to serving its artists. I am proud of all we have accomplished in building Warner Music Japan’s reputation as a progressive home for outstanding artists, as well as laying the foundation for the company’s growth for many years to come. I want to thank Lachie for being an invaluable partner and the entire WMG global team for their wonderful support.”
Lastly, Nick Gatfield decided to step down from his CEO duties in Sony Music UK. Gatfield has been the CEO of Sony since late 2011. Previously he was the President EMI Music in North America and Universal’s Island Record Group. He’s the guy that replaced Ged Doherty at Sony Music. Nick didn’t say much about his future endeavors or moves, it was unclear on why he decided to step down. According to media reports, Nick decided to leave because, ” Sony Music UK had become too invested in The X Factor to find new talent”, but its still unsure of his reason. The music executive has 30+ years in the music industry and he was named one of Billboard’s International Power Players 2014.
Sony had this to say about Nick’s departure:
“It was an amicable decision for Nick to leave the company at this time. We wish him the best in his future endeavours.”
Sony is yet to announce his replacement. The same goes for Warner Music Japan. Let’s wait and see who takes the spot.