Stu Bergen has been promoted to the newly created post of CEO, International and Global Commercial Services for Warner Music Group (WMG).
As MBW covered in our profile of Bergen late last year, the exec has been instrumental in the recent expansion of WMG’s operations outside of the US and UK.
This has included the integration of Parlophone Label Group into WMG, as well as overseeing strategic acquisitions such as Gold Typhoon in China, Polskie Nagrania in Poland and Gala Records in Russia as well as the buy-out of Gallo Records’ share of a joint venture with Warner Music in South Africa.
“Stu has fostered a dynamic, innovative environment that is driving unprecedented local success and outstanding global performance.”
Stephen Cooper, WMG
In his new position, Bergen will oversee all of WMG’s international Recorded Music operations outside the U.S. and UK; Warner Music’s Global Marketing team; WEA and ADA – WMG’s Artist & Label Services divisions; and Warner Classics.
Bergen, who celebrates his tenth anniversary with WMG this year, has been President, Warner Recorded Music since 2013.
He is based at the company’s headquarters in New York and reports to WMG CEO Stephen Cooper.
Bergen’s new role brings together oversight of Warner Music’s international affiliates with responsibility for the company’s global marketing and distribution functions.
Since 2012, Bergen has played a pivotal role in expanding WMG’s global footprint, while growing Warner Music’s international presence by concentrating on the nurturing of global superstars.
In addition, he has made local repertoire a priority in an age when breaking artists out of non-traditional repertoire sources is made ever-more possible by the global reach of streaming services.
“Technology has removed musical barriers. Success can come from anywhere and translate everywhere.”
Stu Bergen, WMG
Examples at Warner include include Robin Schulz – the German DJ who’s notched up multiple No.1 singles in the likes of the UK, France, Italy and Sweden, and gone Top 20 on the Billboard Hot 100 – as well as current global breakout act Lukas Graham from Denmark.
“Stu’s promotion recognizes his leadership in helping focus our global firepower on breaking artists and building careers,” said Stephen Cooper.
“Drawing on his deep understanding of the worldwide marketplace, he has fostered a dynamic, innovative environment that is driving both unprecedented local success and outstanding global performance. I join everyone at WMG in congratulating Stu on this well-deserved appointment.”
The timing of Bergen’s promotion is surely no fluke: Warner posted its fiscal results for the three months to end of December yesterday.
WMG’s international revenues (including UK) were up 6.2% at constant currency in the period to $444m.
Revenue grew 15% at constant currency in the quarter in China, while Latin America and Russia were each up over 20%.
Income in Japan rose 11% in the three months, aided by a strong performance from WMG’s local stars.
“In the era when technology has removed musical barriers between nations and cultures, success can come from anywhere and translate everywhere,” said Stu Bergen.
“It is critical that we draw on the full worldwide strength of our organization to cultivate hit music and superstar artists, as well as generate groundbreaking business models and creative marketing strategies. With the lines between commerce and promotion blurring, our teams are the best in the world at growing fan bases and maximizing global impact.
“The music industry is in the midst of a renaissance, and we have positioned ourselves at the leading edge of enormous global opportunity.”
“Warner has positioned itself at the leading edge of enormous global opportunity.”
Stu Bergen, WMG
Bergen joined WMG in 2006 as President of ILG (Independent Label Group), moving to EVP, Warner Bros Records in 2010 before being named Executive Vice President, International & Head of Global Marketing in 2012.
The New Jerseyite began his music industry career in 1988 at TVT Records, following which he became Director Promotion at Relativity Records. Bergen holds a BA degree from Princeton University.Music Business Worldwide