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Warner Music Japan has named Kazuyuki (Kaz) Kobayashi as their newly appointed CEO and Shuji Utsumi as their new COO. Kaz is joining from Sony Music Japan, where he oversaw Sony’s music TV assets, live venues, ticketing and magazine publishing. Warner finally found their man after Kei Ishizaka announced his retirement as CEO. He will reporting to Lachie Rutherford, the President of Warner Music Asia Pacific.
On the other hand, Shuji is coming from Q Entertainment, a gaming development company which he founded. He will be reporting to Kaz.
Rutherford had this to say about the newest members of Warner Music Japan:
“I am thrilled to welcome Kaz and Shuji to Warner Music. They are both pioneering executives with exemplary track records and a wealth of entertainment experience”.
“Kaz is one of Japan’s leading music professionals whose unrivalled A&R and marketing expertise has guided the careers of huge Japanese artists and global superstars”.
“Shuji’s many business successes can be attributed to his sharp entrepreneurial instincts, strong operational knowledge and deep understanding of the wider opportunities to monetize music. I am confident that their combined skills, vision and commitment to innovation will ensure that we continue to offer the best home for extraordinary talent in Japan.”
Kaz expressed how he felt about his new duties as CEO by saying:
“I look forward to working with Lachie, Stu and Shuji. It is a privilege to represent such strong repertoire and to lead an immensely talented team of people who are focused on the future of Warner’s artists.
“I am passionate about signing and developing the very best local acts and excited to have the opportunity to create an environment that will enable their careers to flourish.”
“There are an increasing number of ways for fans to connect and engage with music which provide scope to expand the tools and expertise offered to artists. I look forward to working with Kaz to explore new business models to ensure Warner Music remains an industry leader across all areas of the organisation.”
Both men will officially join Warner on April 1st work with Kei Ishizaka until October. Thank you Billboard for the update.