03rd Oct 2013

Warner Music undergoes a leadership transition

Warner Music Group (WMG), one of the so-called ‘big three’ recording companies along with Universal Music Group and Sony, operates some of the most successful recording labels in the world, including Atlantic Records. This week WMG announced a leadership re-shuffle – Max Lousada will succeed Christian Tattersfield as CEO of Warner Music UK when Tattersfield steps down in February 2014. In the interim, Tattersfield and Lousada (chairman of Atlantic Records UK) will work together as co-CEOs in order to facilitate a smooth transition. Both will report directly to Stephen Cooper, CEO of WMG.

Since 2004 Lousada has run Atlantic Records, for which he will continue to act as chairman – combining these duties with his new responsibilities as CEO of Warner Music UK.

During his tenure at Atlantic Records Lousada has built a strong artist portfolio including successful British and international acts such as James Blunt, Ed Sheeran, Deathcab For Cutie and Bruno Mars. Lousada’s experience in the music industry goes way back. He started off putting on club nights, which led to him setting up his own distribution company after university. After that he ran a few independent record labels before becoming MD (Europe) of Rawkus Records, where he worked with Mos Def and Zero 7. Prior to Atlantic Lousada was head of A&R at Mushroom Records before it was acquired by Atlantic, where he worked his way up to the position of chairman in 2009.

WMG CEO Cooper said of the appointment, “Max is a natural successor to Christian […] His appointment ensures stability and continuity during the handover period and leaves us well positioned for growth”.

In taking on this position as corporate chief, WMG understands that Lousada will face many new challenges. Transitioning into role can be one of the most difficult aspects of taking on a new position – which is the reasoning behind keeping Tattersfield around until Lousada settles in.

This is an understandably tumultuous time, and Lousada may easily get distracted from his main priorities. So it is hugely important that he maintains focus – by trying to anticipate future challenges and how best to deal with them. Lousada’s ability to transition effectively into role will prove crucial as he strives for further success in the future. At First100 we recommend the use of First 100 Days Plan to facilitate an easy transition and ensure performance acceleration from the get-go.

Hilda Goold



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