Warner wastes no time filling in for departing COO Rob Wiesenthal


It took Warner Music Group precisely one day to find someone to step into the shoes of Rob Wiesenthal – the COO who quit the company this week to focus on his ‘Uber for helicopters’ startup.

The major music company’s CEO, Steven Cooper, has hired Michael Nash (pictured) as ‘Advisor to the CEO’.

Nash will take on many of the business development responsibilities that previously fell under Wiesenthal’s jurisdiction.

Although currently unconfirmed, it appears Nash’s hiring will be a temporary/consultancy position… for now.

The timing of the departure of Wiesenthal (pictured, main) is rather intriguing.

It comes less than two weeks after a global licensing deal was agreed between Warner and Apple Music; an agreement Wiesenthal would have led, and one which is now being resisted by (and concerning) independent labels around the globe.

Nash’s appointment marks a return to Warner for the exec, who worked at the label from 2000 to 2011.

Towards the end of this tenure, he was WMG’s Executive Vice President, Digital Strategy and Business Development.

Nash joined WMG as SVP in 2000 and was appointed EVP with global oversight in 2008.

Prior to WMG, Nash was Executive Director of the Madison Project, one of the music industry’s first digital distribution companies (1999) and the founding CEO of Inscape, a video gaming joint venture between WMG and HBO (1994 – 1997).

In a note to Warner staff yesterday, which you can read below in full, WMG CEO Steven Cooper said Nash “helped establish [Warner’s] reputation as a trailblazer”.

Hi everyone,

I wanted to follow up on yesterday’s announcement about Rob Wiesenthal deciding to leave WMG and let you know that I’ve asked Michael Nash to join us as Advisor to the CEO.

In this capacity, Michael will oversee WMG’s Business Development activities, and lead our Business Development team. He will report to me.

Michael has been at the forefront of media and technology convergence for over two decades.

I know many of you will remember him from when he was at WMG from 2000 to 2011, including as EVP of Digital Strategy & Business Development.

During his time here, he helped WMG establish its reputation as a trailblazer, while growing our digital revenues dramatically.

Since leaving WMG, his experience as a strategic thinker and creative deal-maker has continued to expand, including by working to build a wide range of successful start-ups in the social media, gaming, video and music spaces.

At this key point in our digital transformation, Michael will be a valuable resource, helping us find new ways of growing our existing business and boldly experimenting with new business models.

Michael will start this coming Tuesday, hitting the ground running. I’m sure you will all give him a warm welcome back.

If you have questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.


SteveMusic Business Worldwide

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