(CelebrityAccess MediaWire) —
Steve Barnett has been named chairman, Columbia Records Group. Barnett, formerly president of Epic Records, is based in New York and reports to Don Ienner, chief executive, officer Sony Music Label Group, and Michele Anthony, president and chief operating officer, Sony Label Music group . Steve Greenberg will continue as president, Columbia Records. In his new role,. Barnett will be responsible for the overall management of Columbia Records Group.
"I met Steve over a decade ago when he was the manager for AC/DC and we were working together on the soundtrack for Last Action Hero. We quickly became friends," said Ienner. "Steve came to Epic while I was running Columbia, and, although the labels competed with each other, nothing got in the way of our friendship. Since that time, I've watched him become a true leader. It was great to see him realize such incredible success after I made him the head of Epic, and my respect and admiration for him has continued to grow. With impressive artist development success stories, Steve has orchestrated an incredible turnaround at Epic Records and built it into a powerhouse. His creative approach to the marketplace and track record of putting together winning strategies combined with his success at Epic make him the right executive at the right time to lead Columbia into the next great phase of its evolution."
"Steve's dedication to his artists and employees is absolute," said Anthony. "He knows exactly what it takes to assemble an incredible team. Steve delivered amazing results at Epic. He is the consummate music executive — there are few people in this business who are more focused on artist development and team building."
"Columbia is one of the most prestigious names in this business, and I thank both Don and Michele for the opportunity to contribute to its rich heritage," said Barnett. "I look forward to working with the label's fantastic artists, many of whom have made Columbia their home for their entire career. It will also be great to work with the many talented executives on the Columbia team, as well as to expand the audience of the label's amazing roster of superstars."
. Barnett was president of Epic Records since 2004. For the four years prior to that, he was executive vice president, general manager, Epic Records where he was key in establishing a wide variety of artists, including Shakira, Jennifer Lopez, Franz Ferdinand, Howie Day, Modest Mouse, Good Charlotte, and Los Lonely Boys. He was instrumental in bringing legendary rock artists AC/DC to the label, and helped solidify an innovative marketing agreement with Integrity Music Group, one of the fastest growing companies in the Christian Music market.
From 1999-2000, . Barnett was executive vice president, Worldwide Marketing, Epic Records & 550 Music. Beginning in 1997, he was senior vice president, Worldwide Marketing, Epic Records. He joined Epic Records in 1996 as senior vice president, International. Previously, he had served as president of Hard To Handle Management, where his clients included AC/DC, Cyndi Lauper, M People and Foreigner, among others. Prior to establishing Hard To Handle, Barnett was a partner in the UK artist management firm Part Rock from 1980 until the establishment of Hard To Handle, Part Rock's U.S. company, in 1988. –Bob Grossweiner and Jane Cohen