Ted Cockle exits as boss of Universal’s Virgin EMI in the UK

Credit: Alex Davison/MBW

Ted Cockle, the long-time President of Virgin EMI – one of Universal Music UK‘s biggest labels – has exited the company, MBW can reveal.

Sources informed us earlier today that Cockle, who has run Virgin EMI since 2013, had departed Universal after an unbroken 15 year run with the major.

A Universal Music UK spokesperson has confirmed Cockle’s exit to MBW, telling us: “We love the guy, and we wish him nothing but the best.”

Virgin EMI is one of the UK’s largest record labels in terms of market share, with a roster of British artists including Lewis Capaldi, Bastille and Emeli Sandé.

It also works with North American superstars such as Justin Bieber, Migos, Shawn Mendes and Taylor Swift in the UK market.

Virgin EMI was founded in 2013 through the merger of Mercury Records UK and Virgin Records, with the latter company acquired by Universal as part of its £1.2bn ($1.9bn) buyout of EMI Music in 2012.

Cockle began his career in a sales role at Sony Music in the nineties, before working in marketing at Epic Records UK.

In 2005, Cockle was poached by Universal Music to join Island Records UK in London, which he ran alongside now-Island US boss, Darcus Beese.

During Cockle’s successful tenture at Island, the label signed and worked with artists such as Amy Winehouse, Mumford & Sons, Jessie J and Keane.

In May last year, Virgin EMI, helped by the breakthrough success of Lewis Capaldi, broke a British record with ten singles in the Top 20 of the UK’s Official Singles Chart – four in the Top 10.

That same month, Daniel and Ben Parmar, co-founders of taste-making indie label PMR, were named Co-Presidents of A&R at Virgin EMI.Music Business Worldwide

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