Quartararo out in EMI, Sony shake-up


NEW YORK -- Changes were announced Thursday at the executive vp level for EMI and Sony Music Label Group.

EMI said Phil Quartararo is exiting his post as executive vp of EMI Music North America at the end of the year. At SMLG, Lisa Ellis has been named executive vp of the group as part of a restructuring of Sony Urban Music.

Quartararo is leaving to establish his own strategic marketing company, EMI said.

During the course of his current five-year run at EMI, Quartararo has been responsible for revamping the major label's distribution arm from a pure sales and distribution operation to a broader sales and marketing organization now known as EMI Music Marketing. In 2005, he assumed a new role as executive vp and as a member of the office of the chairman.

He also oversaw EMI Music Marketing's special and strategic marketing units, which focus on creating new revenue streams, building sports and lifestyle initiatives and licensing for soundtracks and synchronization.

Prior to joining EMI, Quartararo was president of Warner Bros. Records from 1997-2002. From 1992-97, he was CEO of Virgin Records America, a company he helped found in 1986.

As for Ellis, she will report to SMLG president Rob Stringer in her new role. In a memo announcing the move, Stringer said she will "be involved in all aspects of the Sony Music Label Group's activities, with particular emphasis on broadening our growth as an entertainment company in the digital era."

Ellis has overseen Sony Urban Music since the division was formed in 2003, and has been involved in a string of hits by such acts as John Legend, Omarion, Lyfe Jennings, Three 6 Mafia and Beyonce. She was promoted to president of the unit in December 2005.

In conjunction with the move, Sony Urban Music, previously a 70-person shared-services operation comprising the Epic and Columbia R&B departments, will now be housed under the Columbia Records Group umbrella.

There was no word of additional personnel moves, roster shuffles or layoffs as part of the announcement. Sony executives did not return calls for comment by press time.

Brian Garrity is a senior business writer for Billboard.