Simon Robson, currently COO and CFO Warner Music UK, is to become president of Asia-Pacific for the major record company in January.
He takes over from Lachie Rutherford, who has decided to retire. Robson will report to Stu Bergen, President, International, Warner Recorded Music.
Rutherford, who joined Warner in 1998, is one of the Asia-Pacific region’s best-known executives. He has been closely involved in the careers of some of Asia’s leading artists including Stephanie Sun, A-Mei, Kobukuro, Superfly, Tatsuro Yamashita, Mariya Takeuchi, Ayaka, Jin Akanishi, Jam Hsiao, Tomohisa Yamashita, Khalil Fong, Kyary Pamyu Pamyu and JJ Lin.
Prior to joining Warner Music, Rutherford served at EMI Music Group, rising to the position of President, EMI Music Asia in 1995. Before his tenure at EMI, he practiced as a barrister in Australia after starting his career as a musician. He has been Chairman of IFPI in Asia since 2004.
Simon Robson has been with Warner Music since 1998 and has served the company in a variety of roles in London as well as Tokyo, initially as Director of Finance for Asia Pacific and then in a strategic role for Warner Music Japan. With Warner Music UK, Robson has been closely involved with the recent integration of the Parlophone Label Group London operation, acquired by WMG in 2013. Robson will be based in Hong Kong.
Stu Bergen said, “Asia Pacific is a diverse and dynamic region where artistry and innovation thrive in equal measure. We are fortunate to have had an executive of Lachie’s calibre lead our efforts there in recent years.
“From developing multi-platinum artists to forging a path through the developing digital landscape, he has helped to foster growth for both our company and the wider music business and I would like to thank him for his immense contribution.”
“Simon is one of our organization’s most impressive executives whose strategic and operational expertise, as well as his keen commercial instincts and his deep knowledge of the region, mean he is ideally placed to lead Warner Music Asia Pacific into the next phase of its evolution.
“I am confident that Simon will help us seize the many new opportunities emerging for our artists and our business there and I look forward to all he will accomplish in his new role.”
Lachie Rutherford said. “It has been a pleasure and a privilege to steer the company during such a transformational time in this region as well as the industry more generally. I would like to pay tribute to all those who travelled that road with me.
“From the exceptional Asia Pacific leadership team to the many incredible artists I’ve been involved with over the years, their constant and unyielding pursuit of creative and commercial excellence has powered our collective success and I will always remain grateful for the opportunity to work with so many great people.”
Simon Robson said, “I’m delighted to return to the Asia Pacific operation at such an exciting time and honoured to lead our operations there.
“Lachie and the Asia Pacific team – many of whom I’ve been fortunate to work with for years – have established an impressive organization primed to embrace the growth potential the region has to offer while ensuring artist development is the key focus. I’m looking forward to us building on those achievements and mapping out an ambitious future for our business.”Music Business Worldwide