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Music industry veteran Tom Whalley has signed a label deal with Universal Music Group, the company announced today. Whalley’s Seven Four Ent. will operate under the Universal Republic Records banner, home to Gotye and Florence and the Machine. Whalley was previously chairman and CEO of Warner Bros. Records, a post he held for nearly a decade. During his tenure, the label signed Michael Buble, The White Stripes, Muse and My Chemical Romance.
Said Chairman & CEO of Island Def Jam Music Group & Universal Republic Barry Weiss in a statement: “Tom is a fearless creative executive, respected industry-wide for his A&R instincts and great artistry. He has been responsible for the breakout success of many of the world’s most exciting, original artists and we are delighted to be partnering with him on the launch of Seven Four Ent.”
Monte Lipman, President & CEO of Universal Republic, praised Whalley as a “fierce competitor who constantly operates outside the traditional boundaries.”
The signing is the latest move to expand A&R investment at UMG and under the leadership of Lucian Grainge, who commented that Whalley’s “renowned ability to spot new talent and work in true partnership with artists complements the creative vision that Barry, Monte and I share for our East Coast company.”
Whalley started his career in the Warner Bros. A&R department in the 1980s where he worked with such acts as Modern English and The Cure. He later moved to Capitol Records as Head of A&R and Interscope Records, where he rose up the ranks to label president, signing Tupac Shakur, Nine Inch Nails, Wallflowers and Limp Bizkit, among others.
The stock price for Paris-based Vivendi, UMG’s corporate parent, was down slightly on April 12 to 12.85 EUR — a dip of 1.76 percent.
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