Warner Bros. Records Gets New LeadershipBy
Billionaire Blavatnik recruits executives from Sony, Universal
First moves under Max Lousada, new CEO over all Warner labels
Warner Music Group Corp. named new leaders at Warner Bros. Records, home to the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Green Day, handing the reins of its namesake label to the company’s next generation of music executives.
Aaron Bay-Schuck, 36, was named co-chairman and chief executive officer of Warner Bros. Records, the company said Tuesday in a statement, while Tom Corson, 56, becomes co-chairman and chief operating officer. Both report to Max Lousada, 44, who took over this week as CEO of recorded music over all Warner labels.
Bay-Shuck and Corson, who previously held positions at larger rivals Sony Music Entertainment and Universal Music Group, take over Warner Bros. Records just as streaming services Spotify and Apple Music revitalize the industry. Record sales are poised to grow for a third year in a row, though sales are still a fraction of the high set in 1999. Some labels, like Warner sister imprint Atlantic Records, have reaped early proceeds thanks to investments in the right artists and marketing savvy. Warner Bros. Records hasn’t.
Cameron Strang, the current chairman and CEO of Warner Bros. Records, will step down at the end of the year, the company said.
The appointments mark the first moves Lousada has made as the new head of recorded music at Warner Music Group, which is owned by billionaire Len Blavatnik. Lousada previously ran Warner’s U.K. operation and is credited with helping to develop Ed Sheeran.
Bay-Schuck joins Warner Music from Interscope Geffen A&M, part of Vivendi SA’s Universal Music, where he oversaw scouting and development as president of artists and repertoire. Bay-Schuck works with a roster of artists that includes Gwen Stefani and Lady Gaga.
Corson comes from RCA Music Group, part of Sony Music, where he has worked since 2000 and was most recently president and chief operating officer. He played a leadership role in developing Alicia Keys, the Foo Fighters and Justin Timberlake, among others.
Like other music companies, Warner Music Group has boosted sales and profit with the surging popularity of streaming subscriptions. The company posted net income of $182 million through nine months of 2017, up from $29 million a year earlier. Revenue grew 11 percent to $2.66 billion.