Neil Taylor exits HMV after three decades

Neil Taylor exits HMV after three decades

HMV MD Neil Taylor has exited the retailer, Music Week has learned.

Taylor, who stepped up as MD last April, has left HMV after three decades.

At the beginning of the year, Taylor led an attempted management buyout after HMV went into administration.

When the retailer was ultimately acquired by Sunrise Records owner Doug Putman, Taylor stayed on to oversee the transition of the business and re-opening of stores.

In his Music Week cover story earlier this year, Putman explained why there was no immediate exit of the top management team at HMV.

“My managing director, Neil Taylor, he’s been with the company forever but he’s new to the MD role, Hilco put him in there last year,” said Putman. “So we want to give people a little time, see what they can do. Let them show you what their vision is and what they can do before you just drastically say, ‘Well, this company went bankrupt, it must have been because of the people at head office’, because you don’t know that that’s really the true, fair story. I think there were a bunch of issues as to why HMV went bankrupt. Some of it is to do with staff, some is the market conditions, there are many different reasons. It just lost its way.”

HMV has not commented on the departure of Taylor.

During the ERA AGM this month, Putman recalled how he first met with Taylor as the takeover deal was being done.

“If you know Neil, he's a smooth talker,” said Putman. “So Neil convinced me that this was a good thing, that him and the team could fix it, that it would work out. The numbers suggested that to us as well.”

HMV has recently announced a huge new store in Birmingham, while Putman has plans for a new UK apparel-based retailer. 

Prior to the MD role, Taylor was HMV retail operations director for 13 years. From 2003 to 2006, he was head of central operations.

Under Hilco, Taylor oversaw big reductions in operating costs at the chain.

Earlier innovations managed by Taylor included the launch of a cinema in the Wimbledon branch. The cinema remains open following the store’s closure earlier this year.

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