Pierre Tremblay leaves Nettwerk

Toronto band Billy Talent exits for his new venture

TORONTO -- Pierre Tremblay has left his role as senior vp at Canada's Nettwerk Music Group, claiming the company has "lost focus."

Tremblay has taken Toronto band Billy Talent with him for his new venture, Vancouver-based Hive Management. The rock act has enjoyed commercial success with its third album, "III," for Warner Music.

"Basically Nettwerk has been going in a different direction than the one I wanted," Tremblay said. "I want to build a branding and management company and Terry wants to create a 'future music company.' There was definitely a different perspective."

Silverstein (Victory Records), Sweet Thing (EMI) and emerging artist Shawn Hlookoff are the three other acts Tremblay has taken with him.

In an e-mailed response, Nettwerk co-founder and CEO Terry McBride says its new strategy includes Polyphonic, the artist investment tie-up with Mama Group and ATC, the return of the Lilith Fair female touring festival in 2010 and the signing of Welsh classical crossover artist Katherine Jenkins for worldwide management.

"As such we needed to make new priorities as we move Nettwerk into the future and that meant ending some relationships," says McBride.

Tremblay was wooed to Nettwerk in 1995 after working for MCA Concerts as head of west coast operations. He worked at the company during its period of rapid expansion into management. That division of Nettwerk once included Coldplay, Avril Lavigne, Barenaked Ladies and Sum 41, all of which have left in recent years.