(CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — Merck Mercuriadis has been named worldwide group chief executive of the Sanctuary Group in a management overhaul of the company. For the past 18 months, the Group has been focusing on building up the artist services side of its business (artist management, live agency and merchandising), having created one of the world’s largest independent record companies over the past five years. During this period, the Group has also created and grown its US business under the management of Mercuriadis from a very low base in 2000 to a business representing close to 50% of Group global revenues.
Mercuriadis, 41, presently CEO of Sanctuary US, will become Group CEO to direct and manage the creative strategy of the Group across its businesses on a worldwide basis. Mercuriadis has worked for Sanctuary for 18 years. He relocated from London to New York four years ago to build the North American business and will remain based in the US.
Andy Taylor, 54, co-founder of Sanctuary, will remain as executive chairman for the long term and will continue to direct the commercial and financial strategy of the Group alongside the Group Finance Director Mike Miller, 44. Miller will continue to be the main point of contact with the investment community, alongside Philip Ranger, 44, director of corporate and investor relations.
“Sanctuary’s success has been based on a strategic combination of creative and commercial skills," said Taylor. "In the past Rod Smallwood my co-founder, managed the creative aspects of the company whilst I looked after the commercial and financial aspects. With Merck’s appointment, we are continuing that successful process. Merck is one of the outstanding artist managers and record men of his generation and has a strong track record in strategic management and business growth. His affinity with the artist community makes him an ideal person to drive Sanctuary’s success globally, across all of our businesses. I remain totally committed to the long-term future of Sanctuary, and I am very excited about this step. I believe that we have all the pieces in place to see the Sanctuary Group go from strength to strength.”
Following his appointment to Group CEO, Mercuriadis has defined the core executive management team and made a number of organizational changes, effective immediately. Key amongst these are:
. Aky Najeeb, 45, currently CEO Sanctuary Artist Services (excluding North America) will have a worldwide overview, becoming CEO, Sanctuary Artist Services Worldwide. He has worked for Sanctuary for 20 years and will remain based in the UK.
· Joe Cokell, 47, currently CEO, Sanctuary Records Group (excluding North America) will have a worldwide overview, becoming CEO, Sanctuary Recorded Music Worldwide. He joined Sanctuary in 2000 following the acquisition of Castle Records and will remain based in the UK.
· Tom Lipsky, 50, currently president, Sanctuary Records Group North America will expand his responsibility becoming CEO, Sanctuary Records Group North America. He joined Sanctuary in 2000 following the acquisition of CMC Records and will remain based in New York and Raleigh, NC.
· Carl Stubner, 46, currently co – president, Sanctuary Artist Management North America will expand his responsibility becoming CEO, Sanctuary Artist Management North America. He joined Sanctuary in 2003 and will remain based in Los Angeles.
· Peter Asher, 60, currently co – president, Sanctuary Artist Management North America will expand his responsibility becoming president, Sanctuary Artist Management North America. He joined Sanctuary in 2001 and will remain based in Los Angeles.
· Bill Leibowitz, 53, currently general counsel, Sanctuary Group US will extend his role to become general counsel, Sanctuary Group Worldwide. He joined Sanctuary in 2004 after almost 20 years as outside counsel and will remain based in New York.
“The music business has been transformed over the last five years with the emphasis for its future now fully on the artist," said Mercuriadis. “Sanctuary has been at the forefront of these dramatic changes ensuring that our artists and our initiatives in every aspect of this business are well positioned for long-term success. I have a deep belief in Sanctuary and commitment to our artists and what we stand for and I am honored to be appointed Sanctuary Group CEO. I would like to thank the board for their confidence but particularly Rod and Andy for their support and paving my way over the last 18 years."
"This is a significant time in the development of the Group and our model and there are many exciting challenges ahead that will ultimately solidify the changes in the music industry and Sanctuary’s prominent role within it. We have an executive team that is second to none to implement our creative and commercial strategy and combined with our 360 degree infrastructure which allows us to partner with artists in every area and the right fresh ideas gives me every reason to be confident that with each passing day we not only become ever more attractive to the most important career artists but we are also leading the transformation of our industry.” — Bob Grossweiner and Jane Cohen