CEO tapped at EMI Music

Elio Leoni-Sceti will replace Guy Hands

LONDON -- Guy Hands has added the final touches to his sweeping restructuring of EMI with the appointment Monday of Elio Leoni-Sceti to helm of its recorded music division.

Hands will step aside from his chairmanship of EMI into a nonexecutive function.

Leoni-Sceti, a senior manager with household cleaning products firm Reckitt Benckiser, has joined the music major as CEO of EMI Music.

"This is a hugely exciting time for the music business and for EMI," the Italian executive said Monday. "The potential that can be realized in this industry is massive. Music consumption is growing more than ever across the world, and I cannot wait to get started and to (begin) working with EMI's artists and employees."

It was unclear when he will start in his new role.

Leoni-Sceti was recruited by Benckiser in 1992 and worked his way up the ladder with stints as GM of its German and Italian affiliates, as senior vp North American household and as executive vp category development. The former Procter & Gamble executive was promoted by Benckiser to executive vp, Europe, in July 2006.

"Having completed the organizational restructuring at the end of June and finalized our strategic work," Hands said, "Elio joins at the right time to shape, drive and lead EMI to become the world's most artist-focused and consumer-friendly music company."

Hands has been in charge on the day-to-day running of EMI since it was acquired in summer 2007 by his private-equity house Terra Firma for £3.2 billion.

As part of his re-engineering of EMI's recorded music division, Hands told staff in January that 1,500-2,000 positions would be made redundant.

On Friday, the company confirmed the departure of Jean-Francois Cecillon, who was EMI Music's president of A&R labels, international, and president of Europe, Middle East and Africa. A tandem exec team of Billy Mann and David Kassler has been brought in to replace Cecillon.