Ashley Newton named Columbia Records pres

Oversaw projects from Foo Fighters, Kings of Leon at RCA

NEW YORK -- Ashley Newton will take the helm at Columbia Records Group as president. The appointment comes from co-chairmen Steve Barnett and Rick Rubin.

Newton has been executive vp, A&R at RCA since January 2003 where he oversaw projects from artists like the Foo Fighters, Kings of Leon, Daughtry, Ray LaMontagne, Velvet Revolver, Imogen Heap, David Cook and Adam Lambert.

He began is A&R career at Island Records in London before moving on to Virgin Records U.K. where he rose to co-managing director. He moved to the States in 1997 to become co-president of Virgin Records America and senior vp, A&R of Virgin Music Group Worldwide.

At Virgin, Newton was credited for signing such acts as the Spice Girls, Massive Attack, Everything But The Girl, The Chemical Brothers, Shaggy and Neneh Cherry, according to a release.