In a move connected to Warner Music Group‘s news earlier today (March 29) about a 4% reduction to its global workforce, Warner Music UK has revealed that there will be a leadership change at its frontline label Parlophone Records.
Parlophone Co-Presidents Nick Burgess, Mark ‘Mitch’ Mitchell, and General Manager Jack Melhuish are to exit the label, Warner has confirmed.
Jennifer Ivory, currently, SVP, Warner Records UK, will subsequently take charge at Parlophone as its new Managing Director.
Additionally, Parlophone will join Warner Records UK, Roadrunner, FFRR and Elektra Entertainment in what Warner calls “a newly created coalition of labels” which will sit under the overall guidance of Warner Records UK President, Joe Kentish.
According to Warner Music, within this new structure, Ivory, Kentish and recently-appointed Managing Director of Warner Records UK, Alex Burford, “can strategically plan and boost both labels as part of the collaborative group, helping them build on recent successes”.
Warner says that Parlophone “will maintain independent A&R and marketing functions” but will now draw on a “centralised team of experts” and adopt a shared service approach to the other key functions.
MBW understands that although Parlophone will continue to have its own A&R and marketing teams in the UK, it will share other services with other Warner Music UK frontline labels.
Warner Music UK’s other frontline labels include Atlantic Records UK and Warner Records UK.
MBW broke the news all the way back in 2017 that Warner’s London-based Parlophone was getting a new team of Co-Presidents in Mark Mitchell and Nick Burgess.
Burgess became Co-President of Parlophone on Friday, February 1, 2019, and was, prior to that, SVP of A&R at Universal‘s Virgin EMI.
Melhuish was promoted to General Manager last month.
These changes will see Ivory report into both Harlow as well as Kentish – who Warner says “will also supervise and refocus Parlophone’s A&R team”.
Ivory will continue to provide some marketing support to Warner Records UK as part of this new collaborative structure at WMUK.
Warner says that Ivory, most recently SVP at Warner Records UK, will immediately assume charge of the entire Parlophone portfolio, “overseeing the strategic direction of the label and driving an even stronger focus on marketing and creativity”.
Recent Parlophone campaigns have been for the likes of Ashnikko, Coldplay, Gabriels, Gorillaz, and Sam Ryder.
In making the announcement, Harlow, said: “Jen has been with us for over 14 years and has grown into one of the most exceptional and influential voices at WMUK and one of our best marketeers.
“She supervised four No.1 albums last year alone. Under her leadership, Parlophone’s employees will be dedicated to signing and developing the next generation of outstanding talent.”
“I’d like to thank Nick and Mitch for an outstanding job at Parlophone. They’ve been strong and thoughtful leaders in difficult times and, in partnership with Jack, have had a real impact that has been vital for Parlophone’s growth.”
He added: “I’d like to thank Nick and Mitch for an outstanding job at Parlophone. They’ve been strong and thoughtful leaders in difficult times and, in partnership with Jack, have had a real impact that has been vital for Parlophone’s growth.”
“In the modern, rapidly evolving digital business, we’re always pushing for the most agile and forward-thinking ways to super-serve our talent. The market is increasingly fragmented, and it takes more expertise to service all channels and to serve them properly. Our artists need more specialists to explore every available opportunity.
“With Parlophone and Warner Records UK coming together and drawing on the expertise of our new centralised coalition, we will harness our collective firepower and lean on a wide range of proficient minds to take the company forward.”
“Ever since I was young, the Parlophone label, its artists and its records have played such an important role in my life. Growing up I always saw them as the north star of British music culture.”
Jennifer Ivory added: “Ever since I was young, the Parlophone label, its artists and its records have played such an important role in my life. Growing up I always saw them as the north star of British music culture.
“I’m honoured to have a part in taking this iconic British label into a successful future. I have built my career on a foundation of great relationships with artists, and I’m pleased that in my new role, I can continue guiding the campaigns of Warner Records artists I’ve supported, like Biffy Clyro, Foals, Liam Gallagher, Muse and Royal Blood.”
Elsewhere, other significant moves in creating the new coalition include the promotion of Claire Coster, who is upped to a centralised Director of Publicity post, overseeing all talent press across WMUK.
Warner says that this reflects Coster’s long and successful career at Atlantic Records UK, particularly her critical role in supporting multiple campaigns for Anne-Marie, Charli XCX and Ed Sheeran.
Colette Carey, recently promoted to VP Artist Relations, will also head up a centralised Artist Relations team across WMUK.
In addition, Jane Arthy is promoted to SVP of Promotions, Sebastian Simone named
VP of Community, and Theresa Adebiyi also joins as Creative Director.
As reported earlier today, Warner Music Group is reducing its global workforce by around 270 roles.
The news was announced to WMG staff on Wednesday morning (March 29), in a memo from Warner Music Group CEO Robert Kyncl, obtained by MBW.
Kyncl writes that, in his “discussions with our leaders across the company, many of them came to the same conclusion – that to take advantage of the opportunities ahead of us, we need to make some hard choices in order to evolve”.
He added that “consistent with this direction”, the company has “made the tough decision” to reduce its global workforce by approximately 270 people, or about 4%.
According to Warner’s 2022 annual report, as of September 30, 2022, it employed approximately 6,200 persons worldwide.
Music Business Worldwide