People: Steve Cooper

Steve CooperChief Executive Officer, Warner Music Group

Steve Cooper is Chief Executive Officer of Warner Music Group (WMG), the home of Atlantic Records, Warner Records, Elektra Music Group and Warner Chappell Music, amongst others.

He joined WMG in 2011 following the company’s $3.3bn acquisition by Access Industries.

In addition to his role as CEO of WMG, Cooper is a member of the Supervisory Board for LyondellBasell Industries N.V., one of the world’s largest companies specializing in olefins, polyolefins, chemicals and refining

He is also an advisor at Zolfo Cooper, a financial advisory and interim management firm, which he co-founded and formerly acted as Chairman.

Cooper is also Managing Partner of private equity firm Cooper Investment Partners and has over three decades’ experience as a financial advisor.

“We have a lot of really talented people, and I never second guess them. I just want to create an environment where they can do their best work.”

Steve Cooper, speaking in 2016

He has previously served as Vice Chairman and member of the office of Chief Executive Officer of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Inc. and Chief Executive Officer of Hawaiian Telcom.

Cooper received a B.A. from Occidental College and an M.B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania Wharton School of Business.

In a Music Business Worldwide interview from 2016, Cooper was asked if he’s more of a businessman or a music man, to which he replied: “I have huge respect for people that have dedicated their entire careers to the music business, but that’s not what I’ve done. I have three rules that have served me well, in business and in life.

“First, have fun, because this isn’t a dress rehearsal. Second, no assholes. That’s in direct correlation to point one. Third, treat people fairly and expect to be treated fairly in return.

“So, I’ve applied those here. Right from the start, I knew better than to get involved in the creative decisions.

“We have a lot of really talented people, and I never second guess them. I just want to create an environment where they can do their best work.”Music Business Worldwide