EMI merges Capitol, Virgin labels under Flom


EMI is merging its North American pop, rock and urban operations.

The company announced plans Thursday to combine its Capitol and Virgin labels into a single unit called the Capitol Music Group. The Capitol Records and Virgin Records imprints will survive, but the company is streamlining its executive and staffing ranks.

As part of the restructuring, Jason Flom, who joined EMI as chairman and CEO of Virgin in November 2005, becomes chairman and CEO of the new organization. He will oversee the combined Capitol and Virgin rosters in the U.S., reporting to EMI Group CEO Eric Nicoli.

Capitol president and CEO Andrew Slater is stepping down from his post after six years.

"Jason Flom quickly demonstrated his leadership and artist-development abilities since he has been at Virgin," Nicoli said. "I am confident that he will take us to new levels of success."

The shake-up is part of EMI Group's recently announced effort to deliver $217 million in annual savings across its business.

Bruce Lundvall, president and CEO of the Blue Note Label Group, will continue to report to Nicoli, as will EMI Music North America chief operating officer Ivan Gavin and EMI Music North America chief financial officer Colin Finkelstein.

EMI Music Marketing president Ronn Werre, Capitol Nashville president and CEO Mike Dungan, EMI Christian Music Group chief Bill Hearn and Caroline Distribution senior vp and GM Bill Hein all continue to report to Gavin.

Brian Garrity is a senior correspondent for Billboard.