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Universal Music Hires Sony Executive Barry Weiss

Universal Music Group, the world’s biggest record company, hired Sony Music executive Barry Weiss to ramp up artist development.

Weiss, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Sony Music’s RCA/Jive Label Group, will oversee Universal’s New York-based labels, according to a person familiar with the decision, who declined to be identified because the hiring hasn’t been announced.

Weiss helped develop the careers of recording artists including Britney Spears, Backstreet Boys and ‘N Sync. The 51-year-old executive will continue to oversee RCA/Jive until his contract ends April 30, Liz Young, a spokeswoman for Tokyo-based Sony Corp.’s music unit, said today in an interview.

Sony Music is losing a top executive as CEO Rolf Schmidt-Holtz’s contract expires in March.

Universal’s parent Vivendi SA, based in Paris, gained 22 cents to 19.92 euros today in stock marketing trading in Paris. Sony American Depositary Receipts fell 47 cents to $36.10 at 4 p.m. in New York Stock Exchange composite trading. Each ADR represents one ordinary share of Sony, traded in Tokyo.

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