Universal Music Latin Ent. restructures

Former Univision Music Group employees laid off

Universal Music Latin Entertainment let go more than 20 former Univision Music Group employees Thursday, as it announced key label and sales appointments for the combined company.

Alfonso Larriva, former vp and GM of Fonovisa and Univision Records, was the highest-ranking employee to be let go. The layoffs mostly claimed assistants, label coordinators, sales reps, managers and directors, according to a company source. Among the affected departments were marketing, publicity and publishing, where Univision Music Publishing vp administration Nestor Rodriguez was let go.

A company source says no further layoffs are expected at UMLE, the new company created by Universal Music Group's acquisition of Univision Music Group earlier this year. The job cuts were the first in the wake of the departure of Univision Music Group president/CEO Jose Behar and a handful of close staff members, including executive vp/CFO Dave Palacio.

In a statement, Universal Music Group said, "Our goal is to create a Latin music company that is not only the biggest, but the best. And that requires eliminating redundancies, and directing our resources to more effectively and efficiently meet the new challenges and opportunities emerging in the marketplace."

With the combined label and publishing properties of the former Univision Music Group and Universal's Latin operations, Universal Music Latin Entertainment controls nearly 50% of the Latin music market. Labels under the consolidated music group include Universal Music Latino, Machete, Fonovisa, Disa, and Universal Music Mexico & Central America.

Key appointments announced today include: Skander Goucha to vp digital and mobile at UMLE; Luis Estrada to GM, Universal Music Latino; Mickey Hernandez to GM of Machete; and Carlos Ruiz to GM, Disa U.S. and Mexico. Gustavo Lopez, president of Disa and Fonovisa, will serve on an interim basis as Fonovisa GM.

At Universal Music Group Distribution, Gregg Vickers was appointed senior vp Latin sales and marketing, reporting to UMGD president/CEO Jim Urie. Nydia Laner was named vp sales for Fonovisa and Disa, and Eddy Laca was appointed vp sales for Universal Music Latino and Machete.

UMLE's senior executive team, announced last month, is helmed by Jesus Lopez, Universal's chairman/CEO for Latin America and the Iberian Peninsula. Walter Kolm is president of Universal Music Latino and Machete; Gustavo Lopez is president of Fonovisa and Disa; and John Echevarria is executive vp operations for Universal Music Latin America.

Victor Gonzalez remained as president of Universal Music Mexico and Central America and Eddie Fernandez stayed on as senior vp, Universal Music Publishing Group, Latin America. Joe Rakauskas was appointed senior vp finance and CFO of UMLE while Mark Berger was appointed vp business affairs.