Universal Music Chairman Morris Said to Seek Exit for Top Sony Music Job

Doug Morris, chairman of Universal Music Group, is seeking an early end to his contract from parent Vivendi SA in order to join Sony Music Entertainment, three people with knowledge of the situation said.

Morris, 72, who has led the world’s largest record company since 1995, is in talks with Sony Corp. for the top post at its music division, said the people, who insisted on anonymity because the discussions are private.

Lucian Grainge replaced Morris as Universal Music’s chief executive officer on Jan. 1, in a transition that began almost a year ago. Morris, who is under contract to remain chairman, has requested a meeting within two weeks to discuss a potential early exit, one of the people said.

Sony Music CEO Rolf Schmidt-Holtz’s contract expires in March. Sandy Genelius, a Sony spokeswoman in New York, declined to comment, as did Simon Gillham, a Vivendi spokesman in Paris.

Vivendi fell 24 cents to 20.55 euros today in Paris. The shares declined 2.9 percent last year. Sony American depositary receipts rose 3 cents to $36.04 at 4:15 p.m. in New York Stock Exchange composite trading.

To contact the reporter on this story: Andy Fixmer in Los Angeles at afixmer@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Anthony Palazzo at apalazzo@bloomberg.net.

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