Warner Music Group (WMG) Australasia MD Tony Harlow has been named president of WEA Corp., the global artist and label services arm of WMG.
The exec will relocate to New York from Sydney, Australia, where he has served as MD of Warner Music Australasia since 2010. He will continue to report to Stu Bergen, WMG’s CEO, International and Global Commercial Services.
Harlow’s appointment, which will be effective from March 1, 2017, follows the announcement earlier this year that current WEA President Matt Signore is to become COO of Warner Music Nashville. A new MD of Warner Music Australasia will be announced in due course.
“Over the past six years, Tony has transformed our business in Australasia,” said Bergen. “As the lines between commercial relationships and consumer-facing marketing continue to converge, and as musical boundaries between nations and cultures continue to dissolve, Tony’s deep experience and progressive viewpoint make him ideally suited to take on this pivotal post.
"WEA is a worldwide backbone that touches virtually every area of our business, and given that Tony has helped break an array of superstars, he’s ideally-placed to maximize the global impact of our artists and their music.”
In his new post, Harlow will oversee the extensive array of services that come under the WEA umbrella, including commercial partnerships, traditional and digital sales, streaming account management and playlisting, analytics and insight, direct-to-fan and merchandising operations, content creation, media operations, legal & business affairs, and finance.
“I am thrilled and honored to get an opportunity to play a more central role in the evolving and successful culture of the Warner Music Group,” said Harlow. “I have loved working in Australia and New Zealand, and the company has enjoyed too many highs to briefly recount, but I am excited now to take those learnings and approach a fresh challenge. Stu and Steve have presented an exciting vision of WEA developing into a global agent of change for our group, and I’m looking forward to working with the world-class WEA team to ensure that we stay ahead of the curve by combining state-of-the-art infrastructure with a nimble, focused, and comprehensive approach to every aspect of marketing artists and selling music.”
Harlow began his music industry career at EMI in the UK before moving to Australia to become MD, EMI Music Australia in 1997. Returning to the UK in 2002, Harlow became CEO of Richard Branson's V2 label, where he worked with acts such as Moby, The White Stripes and Stereophonics, as well as setting up Co-Op Music. Following V2's acquisition by Universal Music Group in 2007, Harlow briefly headed the international marketing team before joining Bravado, UMG's merchandise operation. In 2010, he headed back to Australia with his appointment as WMG MD.