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Power shifts at Universal as Max gets more headroom

Max Hole, the former rock band manager who revitalised classical labels Decca and DG in the past two years, has emerged much strengthened from an executive shuffle.

Hole moves up from COO to CEO of Universal Music Group International, fast-tracked to the top by chairman Lucian Grainge. It appears he has been rewarded for playing a key role in the company’s EMI acquisition (more than for his classical boost). Here’s the press release, just out.

Max Hole with a recovering tenor

Max Hole with a recovering tenor



London-based Executive Broadens Responsibilities Following Acquisition of EMI Recorded Music



LOS ANGELES & LONDON, January 7th, 2013 - Universal Music Group (UMG), the world’s leading music company, has promoted Max Hole to become Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of UMG International with effect from January 1, 2013. The appointment was announced today by Lucian Grainge, Group Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of UMG, to whom Mr. Hole reports.

Based in London, Mr. Hole is a member of UMG’s Executive Board and will be responsible for the company’s global operations outside the United States. In addition, Mr. Hole leads UMG’s worldwide classical music business, including the iconic Deutsche Grammophon and Decca Classics labels.

Lucian Grainge said: “We are strengthening our global management team following the important acquisition of EMI Recorded Music. Max has contributed significantly to the evolution and continued success of our international business. There is no one better to lead our efforts outside the US, where we anticipate significant growth opportunities with the addition of EMI to our existing international portfolio. Max will play an integral role overseeing our future global development.”

Mr Hole’s enlarged role follows completion of the EMI transaction in 2012.

Max Hole said: “The future for the music industry is looking brighter than it has for some time, and there’s no shortage of energy, innovation and creativity in Universal’s companies around the world.  I’m looking forward to working with new colleagues and artists from EMI, and integrating our two great companies successfully.  2013 will be an exciting year for all of us.”

At Universal Music Group International, Mr. Hole is closely involved with the careers of artists from all corners of the world, including Bon Jovi, Juanes, Gotye, Enrique Iglesias, Andrea Bocelli, Milos, Daniel Barenboim, Girls’ Generation, Alejandro Sanz, Lionel Richie, Sting and Sa Ding Ding.  He has also been instrumental in bringing to Universal Music such stars as Taylor Swift, Queen and the Eagles, and securing the company’s partnership with global music TV smash, “The Voice.”

Mr. Hole joined UMG as Senior Vice President, Marketing and A&R, in 1998, and later, advanced to Executive VP in 2004.  In 2010, he was named Chief Operating Officer of Universal Music Group International. Mr. Hole began his music industry career as an independent artist manager and record producer, before spending 16 years at Warner Music UK.



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  1. Mark Pemberton says:

    And you can hear Max Hole speak at the opening session of the ABO conference on 23 January in Leeds!

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