Sony Music announced on Tuesday that Rob Stringer would take over next year as chief executive, while Doug Morris, the company’s chief since 2011, would become chairman.
Stringer is currently the head of Columbia Records. During his tenure, Columbia has become the leading label with an estimated 23-percent global market share, in part generated by recent hit albums by Beyoncé, Daft Punk, One Direction, David Bowie and (in the US) Adele. In the US, Sony Music is ranked second to UMG with 29-plus shares in sales and streaming.
He is also the younger brother of Howard Stringer, the former chairman of the Sony Corp.
The transition is expected to be in place by April, when he will take on operational responsibility for Sony’s labels, which also include RCA, Epic, Arista Nashville, Sony Classical, and Legacy, Masterworks.
In his new position he is to report to Michael Lynton, Sony Entertainment CEO.
The big question mark left unsaid in the announcement is who will take over at Columbia when Stringer moves up?
For the year that ended in March, Sony’s recorded music division had $5.5B in sales, and $773M in operating income.
Morris turns 78 on November 23. He is the only executive who has held the title of CEO of all three music majors. He ran Universal from 1995 to 2011, and served for one year at the helm of Warner Music US after an 18 year run as president and co-chair of affiliated Atlantic Records.
-- Various sources including The NYT and Hits Daily Double