Chris Gobalakrishna and Jonathan Serbin have been named Co-Presidents of Warner Music Asia.
They will both be based in Hong Kong and report to Simon Robson, President, International, Recorded Music, Warner Music Group.
The company says that Gobalakrishna and Serbin have already played a “crucial” role in Warner’s regional operations since Robson, who was President of Warner Music Asia between 2015 and 2020, returned to London to take up his current role.
The two appointments come as Warner Music continues to grow its presence in Asia.
In 2014, it acquired the catalogs of Gold Typhoon and ISS, expanded into Vietnam in 2020, launched new labels, such as dance imprint Whet Records (2021) and hip-hop label Asiatic (2021), introduced ADA, its independent artist and label services arm, in 2020, and expanded its domestic rosters in key markets.
Gobalakrishna joined Warner Music Asia in 2020 as SVP, Finance and Operations, and played a pivotal role as part of the senior management team.
He started his career at BMG in 1994, and in the next decade became Vice President of Finance for BMG International.
Gobalakrishna then became CFO, Digital, Enterprises, Research, Marketing, Events and Social Media, for Univision Communications in 2012, before working in senior finance roles at a number of private, equity-backed business including Workstride, Beachbody and Tone It Up.
Serbin also joined Warner Music Asia in 2020, becoming CEO of Greater China and Head of Strategic Investment.
He joined the company from Billboard, where he served as Head of Asia, launching the brand in China, Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam.
Warner Music says that Gobalakrishna and Serbin will accelerate its strategy in the region over the coming years.
According to the IFPI’s Global Music Report 2021, the region of Asia grew 9.5%, whilst digital revenues surpassed a 50% share of the region’s total revenues.
“We need to continue to innovate to ensure Warner Music is the first choice for artists with global aspirations.”
Chris Gobalakrishna, said: “I’m honoured to be working with Jonathan to lead our Asian operations.
“Asia is such a dynamic region, with dramatic growth prospects, which is also driving the latest tech developments in music streaming and the wider ecosystem.
“We need to continue to innovate to ensure that Warner Music is the first choice for artists with global aspirations.
“We’re constantly looking to better monetise the huge consumption of music in all its forms across the region to the benefit our artists.”
“Chris and I are determined to give a launch pad to all the amazing artists emerging from all corners of Asia.”
Jonathan Serbin, added: “Chris and I are determined to give a launch pad to all the amazing artists emerging from all corners of Asia, so they can take their rightful place on the global stage.
“From hip-hop to dance, rock to pop, Asian artists are redefining genres and connecting with audiences like never before.
“The wider world is waking up to the huge level of talent in this region and the next few years will see Asian artists becoming increasingly influential and successful on the world stage.
“We want Warner Music to be leading this revolution.”
“Chris and Jonathan are hugely talented and experienced execs.”
Simon Robson, added: “Chris and Jonathan are hugely talented and experienced execs who’ve already been very impactful at Warner Music Asia.
“Jonathan has spent almost 20 years in mainland China, building and managing entertainment and music companies with influence across Asia, while Chris has more than two decades’ experience as a commercial COO and CFO across a wide range of sectors.
“Their skills complement each other perfectly and make for a formidable partnership, which will be hugely beneficial to growing the success of Warner Music’s domestic and international artists in Asia and beyond.”Music Business Worldwide