Warner Music Group international exec Stu Bergen has announced his departure from the major.
After more than 14 years, Bergen is moving on from the company. He will continue in his role as CEO, international & global commercial services, until January.
Bergen was a familiar figure at the annual IFPI Global Report launch and has overseen Warner’s streaming-fueled international expansion in recent years.
In a memo to colleagues seen by Music Week, Bergen said: “I'll give my all to a smooth and seamless transition, before starting a new chapter of exciting professional, personal, and philanthropic pursuits.
“Thank you to each of you for your enthusiasm, ingenuity, and camaraderie. Thank you to all the country and label heads with whom it has been my privilege to collaborate. Thank you to Len for your generous support and to Steve and Max for your amazing partnership.”
Bergen spent eight years overseeing international for the major at a time when the industry bounced back. He described it as a “wild and wonderful journey as we have returned to growth and possibility”.
“By investing in local A&R, we have built domestic and cross border careers for talents such as Anitta, Aya Nakamura, Christopher, David Guetta, Pablo Alborán, Robin Schulz, and One OK Rock,” he said. “At the same time, we've taken music from a host of global superstars to every corner of the planet.
“Together, we've grown our worldwide footprint, through strategic acquisitions in fast growing territories and booming genres, from Gold Typhoon in China to Spinnin’ in the Netherlands, while opening affiliates covering around twenty countries. Also, through the evolution of WEA and the acquisition of EMP, we have enhanced the range of services we can offer artists. Both of those teams have shown inspiring levels of resourcefulness and determination throughout the pandemic.”
He added: “Your combined efforts have entertained the planet, transformed the company, and increased market share.”
Together, we've grown our worldwide footprint, through strategic acquisitions in fast growing territories and booming genres
Max Lousada, CEO, recorded music at Warner Music Group, said the leadership transition at international and WEA will be announced in due course.
“During his 14 years at WMG, Stu’s been an influential member of our global leadership team, a devoted supporter of our artists, and a passionate champion of our team,” said Lousada in a memo seen by Music Week. “A versatile exec, known for his frankness and integrity, he’s just as comfortable in the boardroom advocating for an acquisition as he is flying halfway around the world to meet backstage with an artist.
“When Stu took on his current role in 2012, he was charged with spearheading our international expansion, at a point when the industry had been in decline for over a decade. Ever since, he’s been an ambitious catalyst for change, helping us build a truly global platform for growth. As some of you have heard him say, ‘success can now come from anywhere and translate everywhere’.”
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