LOS ANGELES (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — Warner Music Group announced that Edgar Bronfman Jr. would be stepping down from his post as CEO of the company, a post he has held since he acquired the label group in 2004.
Stepping up to the post will be Stephen Cooper, a long-time executive under billionaire investor Len Blavatnik, who's Access Industries acquired Warner earlier this year. Cooper is known as a restructuring specialist and has some past experience in entertainment with companies such as MGM Studios. Other execs, such as Lyor Cohen, CEO of recorded music and Cameron Strang, CEO at Warner/Chappell Music Publishing are expected to retain their billets.
Bronfman isn't out at Warner, at least not yet, and will take on the role of chairman of the board of directors at the company. According to Reuters, his focus as chairman will likely be on the acquisition of London-based EMI Group.
In a memo obtained by Reuters, Bronfman told WMG staffers: "In several discussions with Len and the Access team, I conveyed my strong conviction that my energies on behalf of the company would best be directed toward transformative transactions and long-term strategy."
Bronfman, an heir to the Seagram's fortune has served as CEO of that company as well as vice-chairman of Vivendi Universal. He was convicted in France earlier this year of insider trading relating to Vivendi's near bankruptcy, resulting in a 15 month suspended sentence and a €5 million fine. – CelebrityAccess Staff Writers