Lucian Grainge to be next UMG CEO

Doug Morris to remain Universal Music Group chairman

NEW YORK -- Vivendi has tapped Lucian Grainge as future CEO of its Universal Music Group. He will replace music industry legend Doug Morris on Jan. 1 2011 after a six-months period of shared leadership of the world's largest music firm.

Morris will remain UMG chairman.

French telecom and media conglomerate Vivendi made the announcement on Wednesday.

Grainge is currently chairman and CEO of Universal Music Group International and based in London.

He will relocate to New York from July 1 and act as co-CEO with Morris for six months. Grainge will report to Vivendi CEO Jean-Bernard Levy and become a member of the Vivendi management board.

"This is a great industry which I believe has as much to look forward to as to be proud of," said Grainge. "If we keep getting the basics right of exceptional music and artistry, backed by a great team and sound business sense, then we'll continue to achieve success."

Morris said he has been grooming Grainge as a successor. "I know he is ready, willing and able to attack the challenges of the new decade," he added.

"His track record speaks for itself, finding stars, growing revenues and building new business models," said Levy. "He has the right combination of experience and innovation to take UMG forward as the migration into the digital era accelerates."

Levy also thanked Morris "for the extraordinary results he has achieved over the years in a very tough environment."

Morris started as a songwriter in 1965 and helped move the industry "from Vinyl to Vevo," he said.

In a telephone chat with The Hollywood Reporter, Grainge said he wants to take "intelligent risk" and balance creativity and profitability.

He said music firms must be open to various business models - from CDs to digital subscriptions - and distribution forms old and new -  from Web and mobile solutions to delivery via game consoles.