MediaFile

Today In Music: Sony Music boss invests in start-up, fuels exit speculation

January 19, 2011

Doug Morris UMGSony Music Entertainment Rolf Schmidt-Holtz’s personal investment in Hamburg-based entertainment technology company TeVeo has sparked off speculation that his departure is imminent — which it almost certainly is, but not necessarily because of his investment.

As is well known by now, Schmidt-Holtz is very likely to leave Sony Music on March 31st when his contract expires after five years on the hotseat. He will be a partner in TeVeo following an investment, which was cleared by Sony, and is believed to be around 10 percent.  We’ve been told by a source that the investment and his likely departure in March are not linked.

So if he does leave what will that mean for Sony Music, still struggling to present a completely united front to the world since the 2004 merger between Sony Music and BMG Entertainment?

The name on everyone’s lips is Doug Morris (pictured, left) , the veteran chairman of Universal Music Group who has held early talks with Sony Corp chief executive Sir Howard Stringer. Other names we’ve heard include Rob Stringer, Sir Howard’s younger brother — which would be an awkward appointment to  make for obvious reasons. Other names in the mix include Sony/ATV Music Publishing chief Marty Bandier and Sony USA CFO Rob Wiesenthal. See all the details here in our story from December.

(Photo: Reuters)

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