Interscope Records President Tom Whalley, a highly respected talent scout and executive who discovered such hit acts as Tupac Shakur, the Wallflowers, Primus and 4 Non Blondes, has abruptly left the hot Westwood-based label, sources said.
Whalley may be quitting one of the most successful labels in the business--home to such pop stars as Blackstreet--to join the most ridiculed: Walt Disney Co.'s Hollywood Records. Sources said Disney Chairman Michael Eisner has offered him a multimillion-dollar deal. Whalley's departure Friday follows a marathon of unsuccessful negotiations last week with Interscope founders Jimmy Iovine and Ted Field.
Several entertainment corporations tried to woo Whalley away last year before Interscope promoted him to president. Whalley, however, apparently never signed a contract with Interscope that was on the table at the time.
He has worked at Interscope since its 1990 launch and has run its day-to-day operations since 1996. Whalley previously worked at Capitol and Warner Bros. Records.
Whalley, Iovine and Field could not be reached for comment. Sources close to the three, however, said the split was amicable.