Rob Wiesenthal Named COO of Warner Music Group

Says the former Sony Corp. CFO: "Atlantic Records, Warner Bros. Records and Warner/Chappell are among the most respected brands in music ... It is an honor to join an organization with such incredible heritage."

Rob Wiesenthal is leaving his position as president of Sony/ATV's international business to join Len Blavatnik's Warner Music Group as chief operating officer, the company announced today.

According to a release issued by WMG, Wiesenthal will start on January 1, 2013 and report directly to CEO Steve Cooper (as do music chiefs such as Atlantic's Julie Greenwald and Craig Kallman and Warner/Chappell's Cameron Strang). “Wiesenthal’s responsibilities will include global corporate development across WMG’s recorded music and music publishing operations, identifying new business models and helping to drive growth through key investments and acquisitions,” reads the announcement, which adds that Wiesenthal will also provide advice to Access Industries, WMG’s parent company, on media and technology opportunities.

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Says Wiesenthal, “I’m thrilled to join Warner Music at this exciting time for both the company and the industry.  … Atlantic Records, Warner Bros. Records and Warner/Chappell are among the most respected brands in music, with exceptional recording artists, songwriters and employees. It is an honor to join an organization with such incredible heritage, which is defining a new kind of music company with an entrepreneurial and creative spirit. I can’t wait to get started.”

An internal memo from Sony/ATV CEO Martin Bandier, which was obtained by, praised Wiesenthal for his work in the integration of EMI Music Publishing.

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Before arriving at Sony/ATV, Wiesenthal had been chief financial officer for Sony Corp. of America for a dozen years. He moved to the publisher soon after the exit of Sony Corp CEO Howard Stringer led to a round of management changes at the company. Prior to joining Sony in 2000, he was head of entertainment & digital media, investment banking for Credit Suisse First Boston, where he advised on high profile deals including News Corp.’s purchase of New World Communications and Sony Pictures Entertainment’s acquisition of Telemundo.

Wiesenthal's former position at Sony/ATV will not be replaced. Instead Bandier has promoted one of his advisors, Guy Henderson, to the role of executive vice president International. He will oversee all territories excluding North America, South America and the U.K.

Russian-born billionaire Blavatnik, who paid $3.3 billion for WMG 18 months ago, has doubled down on music investments with a further $130 million venture investment in French music streaming start-up Deezer.

Warner Bros. Records recently saw a corporate shake-up as label CEO Todd Moskowitz resigned and Cameron Strang was tapped to oversee operations all west coast operations for the company with WBR chairman Rob Cavallo and co-president/COO Livia Tortella reporting directly to him.

Twitter: @THRMusic