“It is with great sadness that today I announce I am stepping down as President of Atlantic Records, UK.
“Seven years ago, at a birthday party where guests were asked to come dressed as their favourite musical icon, I came as a member of Run DMC. Late last year rumours began to circulate about my appearance at that event, many of which are simply untrue. While my intention was to honour a musical hero, I recognise my appearance was offensive and I made a terrible mistake.
“As a consequence of this, I readily agreed to disciplinary actions by my employer last year. Since then however, allegations surrounding the party have continued to be made against me. Moreover, they have been used against a wonderful company and the label I love. I have therefore come to the conclusion that I should make this statement and step down, with immediate effect.
“I am devastated that this mistake has caused upset and has called into question my commitment to diversity, equality and inclusion, values which I have championed throughout my career. I have learned a great deal from this event and will resolutely continue to champion these values moving forward.
“It has been an incredible privilege to have worked with the immensely talented artists, managers and team at Atlantic and the wider Warner family.
“I unreservedly apologise to anyone who has been hurt.”
That was the statement from Ben Cook today (October 16), as it was announced that he was leaving his role as President of Atlantic Records UK after 12 years with the company.
A Warner Music Group spokesperson just confirmed: “Ben Cook is leaving Atlantic UK and this will be his last week in the office.”
Warner sources say Parlophone boss Mark Mitchell will take on the leadership of Atlantic Records UK, in addition to his full-time role, on an interim basis.Music Business Worldwide