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Seventy-six-year-old music-business legend Clive Davis was ousted as the head of BMG Label Group yesterday after four years in the position. He’ll be replaced by — drumroll please — a slightly younger, longtime record-label honcho! Jive president Barry Weiss will succeed Davis as chairman and CEO, and Davis will purportedly assume the role of “chief creative officer,” a position created specially for him.
The primary motive behind the switch, says The Wall Street Journal, was Clive’s lack of a succession plan; he’d apparently not picked an eventual replacement for himself, and his superiors didn’t feel comfortable turning the company over to Davis’s deputy and BMG COO, Charles Goldstruck, because he had no A&R experience (Goldstruck was fired yesterday). Also allegedly contributing factors: Davis was reportedly making more than $10 million a year, and his own A&R work these days consists almost entirely of watching reality-TV singing competitions (in addition to shepherding the careers of successful American Idol contestants — plus Bo Bice — he currently has a No. 1 album with Leona Lewis, winner of the U.K.’s The X Factor). Still, the move strikes us as a little weird, since Davis’s division was one of the few in the music business actually turning a profit. Also, why replace a label guy with another label guy when you can hire a nerd instead? (Probably for a lot cheaper!)
Sony BMG Shuffles Music-Label Ranks, Moving Clive Davis [WSJ]
Clive Davis replaced by Barry Weiss as BMG head [AP]