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Second EMI Executive Departs

July 11, 2006|Charles Duhigg | Times Staff Writer

A top-ranked executive who was charged with mapping EMI Group's global strategy has left the recording giant, marking its second high-level departure in two months.

The departure of Adam Klein, executive vice president of strategy and business development for EMI's music division, comes as the company and rival Warner Music Group are exchanging offers to acquire each other.

Two people at EMI said Klein had been pushed out by senior management.

In May, EMI's senior vice president for digital development and distribution, Ted Cohen, announced he was leaving to start a consulting practice.

Klein did not return calls seeking comment. An EMI spokeswoman declined to comment.

Klein joined EMI amid much fanfare in late 2004 and was charged with developing the company's global strategy, particularly in the digital marketplace, which analysts consider to be the industry's future. Klein had previously worked at MTV Networks as a key advisor to then-Chairman Tom Freston.

While Klein was at EMI, the company's digital sales soared. In the fiscal year ended in March, EMI's digital revenue increased 135% to 112.1 million pounds ($206 million). But the company's U.S. market share fell to 10% in the last six months, down 0.4 of a percentage point.

It is unclear what effect, if any, Klein's departure will have on the company's bidding war with Warner Music. The companies each offered to acquire the other for $4.6 billion, but both bids were rebuffed.

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