(CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — Jean-Francois Cecillon has been appointed chairman & CEO of EMI Music Continental Europe, reporting to Alain Levy, chairman & CEO of EMI Music. Cecillon succeeds Emmanuel de Buretel, who has left the company.
A former president & CEO of EMI Records Group UK with 15 years' experience in the music business, Cecillon's new role gives him regional responsibility for all of EMI Music's operations in continental Europe and in Africa and the Middle East. He will be based at EMI Music's global headquarters in Wrights Lane, London.
"Emmanuel is a talented and creative executive," said Levy. "In his time at Virgin and then EMI, he has made an enormous contribution to the careers of our artists. Now we need to move on to a new phase in the development of our business in the continental Europe region which has been severely impacted by piracy and is undergoing rapid change in terms of new technology and consumer demand. We need to maximize our operating performance there and Jean-Francois Cecillon's experience and drive will be key to helping us to improve."
"Jean-Francois has strong skills in international marketing and in brand management that we believe will be invaluable both to our artists and to our business, " added Levy. "He is a multi-talented operator with experience in both the music industry and the wider leisure and new media businesses and he knows how to manage pan-European operations."
"I am delighted to be returning to EMI to join Alain and David's team at this time of great opportunity and potential for the company," said Cecillon. "Alain is leading EMI on a journey and I am looking forward to helping him achieve the level of success that he wants for EMI."
Cecillon, 45, has 20 years' experience in the entertainment industry. In the '90s he ran EMI Records Group in the UK where he was responsible for signing Robbie Williams as he embarked on his solo career. From 1998–2001 Cecillon was CEO of Sega Europe, where he launched Dreamcast, which sold 1.3 million units in its first year.
He left Sega in 2001 and co-founded a music-marketing consultancy called The Music Matrix of which he is chairman. Its aim was to help bridge the worlds of business and entertainment by better understanding the communication and branding needs of artists and corporations. In 2001–2002 he was a media advisor for management consultancy Accenture.
In early 2003 he founded and became managing partner of Fleming Media with the Fleming family. It has a dedicated incubation team to develop intellectual property rights in the media sector. In 2003 he became director and producer of the 46664 project, a music-led worldwide Aids awareness-raising initiative in partnership with Queen manager Jim Beach and the Nelson Mandela Foundation.
Born in 1958 in Lyon, Jean-Francois Cecillon began his music business career in France where he became marketing director of the Polydor/A&M label in 1987. Having served as vice president, marketing, at EMI International he was named managing director of EMI UK in 1992 and subsequently became president & CEO of EMI Records Group, UK and Ireland. –Bob Grossweiner and Jane Cohen