Michael Lynton, CEO of Sony Entertainment, announced that Sony Music Entertainment CEO Doug Morris will transition from the operational management of Sony Music Entertainment and assume the role of Chairman in April 2017. Rob Stringer, currently Chairman and CEO of Columbia Records, will become CEO of Sony Music Entertainment. He will have overall operational responsibility for Sony Music Entertainment globally. He will report directly to Lynton.
Over the last six years as CEO, Doug Morris has each year increased Sony Music’s market share and profitability, strengthening the company’s position as an industry leader and the second largest music company in the world. He has done so with an unwavering focus on cultivating artists and hits, while also keeping the company nimble and innovative to keep pace with the ever-changing landscape of the music business. Sony Music’s roster of talent has grown with Doug’s direct involvement. Morris also restructured some of Sony Music’s key labels to better position them in today’s market. He strengthened the company through innovative partnerships with Ultra, Astronauts Wanted, and Disruptor Records. He also extended the company’s successful joint venture deal with Syco Entertainment in 2015. In addition, he was instrumental in Sony Music acquiring 100% of The Orchard, the world’s leading distribution platform serving independent labels. He also furthered Sony Music’s support of the growth and development of Vevo, the leading premium music video platform which he founded with Eric Schmidt in 2009. He is the only executive who has held the title of CEO of all three music majors, Warner Music Group, Universal Music Group, and currently, Sony Music Entertainment. He has worked with artists ranging from the Rolling Stones to the Chainsmokers. Today, Sony Music includes Columbia, RCA, Epic, Legacy, Masterworks, Provident, Sony Music Nashville and other entities.
Commenting on Morris, Lynton stated, “I want to thank Doug for his dedication and continued commitment to Sony Music. He has been an innovative force in the music business for over five decades and I look forward to working with him in this next phase of his outstanding career. In his new advisory role he will report directly to me. Since 2011, he has expertly led Sony Music through some of the most transformative and challenging issues facing the music industry, while each year increasing the company’s market share and profitability. His passion for music, devotion to artists and tireless energy has made Sony Music the industry leader it is today.”
Under Stringer’s successful leadership, Columbia has grown into the industry’s leading label by market share, with a roster that includes many of the most accomplished and iconic artists in the world, including Adele, Beyoncé, AC/DC, Bruce Springsteen, Barbra Streisand, Bob Dylan, Calvin Harris, David Bowie, Daft Punk, Dixie Chicks, John Legend, John Mayer, One Direction and Tony Bennett. Over the course of his watch, Columbia has been home to some of the biggest commercial and critical hits, and the most groundbreaking releases of the last decade. Stringer most recently oversaw the launch of the record-breaking album “25” by Adele, the groundbreaking visual album “Lemonade” by Beyoncé and the final studio album by David Bowie, “Blackstar.”
During Stringer’s time leading Columbia, the label’s artists have been awarded numerous Grammys, among them 6 wins for Adele in 2012, including Best Album for “21”, and 5 wins for Daft Punk in 2014, including Best Album for “Random Access Memories.”
Commenting on Stringer’s appointment, Lynton stated, “Rob Stringer is one of the most skilled and successful executives in the music industry. His efforts and achievements at Columbia have contributed immeasurably to the overall strength of Sony Music worldwide. Not only is he a tremendous developer of talent and nurturer of stars who has overseen numerous massive hits, but also he is an innovator who understands how to grow revenue and market share in the rapidly changing music business. His ability to adapt to meet the needs of artists and fans in a dynamic marketplace that mixes digital audio, visual media and physical goods makes him the perfect fit to head the company moving forward. I am thrilled to have him leading Sony Music’s next chapter.”
Doug Morris stated, “I am extremely proud of the great leadership team and organization we have built at Sony Music. Our focus on building and maintaining the best creative centers led by world-class executives has yielded fantastic success over the last six years. Rob is a passionate and competitive executive who understands the importance and value of hits, and like a heat-seeking missile, he locks onto great artists. Most importantly, he is one of the finest people I know. And moving forward, Sony Music Entertainment will be in the great hands of Rob Stringer. I look forward to continue working with Michael, Rob and the rest of the Sony family moving forward.”
Rob Stringer stated, “As someone who has spent his entire career at Sony Music, it is a tremendous honor to be named CEO. I would like to thank Kaz Hirai and Michael Lynton for believing in the value and power of music, and for their continuing support of me. I’d also like to extend a special thanks to Doug for both his friendship and mentorship to me personally, as well as for the great leadership and service he has provided to Sony Music. This is a time of enormous opportunity and change for the music business. I am excited to work with the great team we have built at Sony Music to continue to be a champion for artists, and further adapt and grow the business as we meet the challenges ahead.”