Warner Music Taps Wiesenthal as Chief Operating Officer

Warner Music Group named Rob Wiesenthal, the former chief financial officer at Sony Corp. (6758) of America, as its chief operating officer, adding a high-level deal maker as the company seeks to acquire assets.

Wiesenthal will oversee global corporate development in recorded music and publishing, identify new business models and drive growth through investments and acquisitions, New York- based Warner Music said today in a statement. He will report to Chief Executive Officer Steve Cooper.

Warner, owned by billionaire Len Blavatnik, may compete to acquire record labels that Vivendi SA (VIV)’s Universal Music Group is selling as a requirement of regulatory approvals for its acquisition of EMI’s recorded music unit. At Sony, Wiesenthal oversaw a Sony-led group of investors who acquired EMI’s music publishing business.

“There are few media and technology executives of Rob’s stature and expertise,” Cooper said in the statement. “Rob will be a valuable resource as we enhance and grow our position as a progressive music company.”

At Sony, Wiesenthal most recently held the title of president of international operations at Sony/ATV, the music publishing company owned jointly by the Tokyo-based consumer electronics company and the estate of Michael Jackson.

Wiesenthal oversaw Sony’s acquisition of Bertelsmann’s stake in Sony Music Entertainment in 2008 and the purchase of the Leiber Stoller publishing catalog containing many of Elvis Presley’s hit songs, and Famous Music from Viacom Inc. (VIAB) in 2007. Prior to Sony in 2000, Wiesenthal was managing director and head of entertainment & digital media, investment banking for Credit Suisse First Boston, where he advised on deals including News Corp. (NWSA)’s purchase of New World Communications.

Wiesenthal serves on the boards of Entercom Communications Corp. (ETM) and TripAdvisor Inc. (TRIP)

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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