Thomas D. Mottola Announces Formation of New Music Venture


After a 14-year tenure at Sony Music Entertainment, Thomas D. Mottola will leave the company to launch a new venture. The venture promises to break new ground, serving as a music label, as well as developing innovative and unique branding opportunities. Mottola is resigning his positions as Chairman and CEO of Sony Music Entertainment effective immediately to launch the new venture, which is as yet unnamed, and is expected to be formed in partnership with Sony Music Entertainment.

"I have been thinking about taking up this new challenge for about a year, and really made the decision to go forward only recently," Mr. Mottola said. "I am thrilled that I will continue my long-standing relationship with Sony to create a company that I believe will become a blueprint for the music business in the coming years."

Sony Corporation of America agreed to release Mr. Mottola from the two years he has remaining under his current contract, and said it expects to name a successor within the next few days.

"Tommy Mottola has led Sony Music for 14 remarkable years. In that time he has emerged as an icon of the music industry," said Howard Stringer, Chairman and CEO, Sony Corporation of America. "His contributions to our business, his eye for talent and indeed his relationships with the entire artistic community are matchless. We respect his decision to return to his musical roots at such a pivotal time in music history, and expect that he will be enormously successful. He leaves behind a significant roster of talent, an exceptional management team and a legacy to be envied. We are deeply grateful for his contributions to Sony. I know everyone looks forward to his success and to continuing our relationship with him going forward."

Mr. Mottola said that the structure of the new venture is designed to meet the array of opportunities within the changing landscape of the music business.

"Tommy Mottola has been a close colleague and a dedicated member of the Sony senior management team for many years. With all of the changes in the music industry, Tommy felt it was important to him that he return to his great passion for label and artist development. We deeply appreciate all that he has done to extend Sony's presence around the world, and we look forward to working with him in the future," said Nobuyuki Idei, Chairman and CEO Sony Corporation.

"I see this as a total entertainment company and a great opportunity to leverage my experience, knowledge and relationships," said Mr. Mottola. "With the dramatic shift we have seen in the music industry over the last few years, we need to look for new solutions to create long-term value. I believe consolidating the range of entertainment disciplines in one organization today holds the greatest potential for efficiently realizing artistic vision and commercial success."

Mr. Mottola is widely recognized as one of the leading visionaries in the music and entertainment business. He was named Chairman and Chief Executive of Sony Music Entertainment in 1998.

Mr. Mottola has developed and expanded Sony Music Entertainment worldwide business in over 60 countries. Most recently he realized a number of important strategic co-branding initiatives, including Sony Superstar Celine Dion's marketing partnership with Chrysler, a multifaceted global marketing campaign with Pepsi and recently signed rock superstars AC/DC to Epic Records, a deal which included the rights to the group's entire catalog.

Mr. Mottola served as President and Chief Operating Officer of Sony Music Entertainment, a position he took up in 1993. He joined CBS records in 1988 at age 37 as President of CBS Records and a year later was named President of Sony Music. Prior to joining CBS, Mr. Mottola had a very successful career as a manager for artists such as Hall & Oates, Carly Simon and John Mellencamp.

About Sony Corporation of America

Sony Corporation of America, based in New York City, is the U.S. subsidiary of Sony Corporation, headquartered in Tokyo. Sony is a leading manufacturer of audio, video, communications and information technology products for the consumer and professional markets. Its music, motion picture, television, computer entertainment, and online businesses make Sony one of the most comprehensive entertainment companies in the world. Sony's principal U.S. businesses include Sony Electronics Inc., Sony Pictures Entertainment, Sony Music Entertainment Inc., and Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc. Sony recorded consolidated annual sales of over $56.9 billion for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2002, and it employs 168,000 people worldwide. Sony Corporation of America recorded over $18.5 billion in sales in the U.S. for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2002. Sony Corporation of America's homepage is:

About Sony Music Entertainment

Sony Music Entertainment Inc. (SMEI) is a leading global recording company. The three divisions of SMEI are: Sony Music (the U.S. recording company comprised of Automatic Productions, Columbia Records Group, Epic Records Group, Sony Music Nashville, Legacy Recordings, Sony/ATV Music Publishing, Sony Disc Manufacturing, Sony Music Distribution, Sony Music Custom Marketing Group, Sony Music Studios, and Sony Wonder); Sony Music International (active in over 67 countries through its network of wholly owned subsidiaries, joint ventures and licensees); and Sony Classical, which includes the Sony Classical Film & Video division.

SOURCE: Sony Music Entertainment Inc./Sony Corporation of America

CONTACT: Keith Estabrook of Sony Music Entertainment, +1-212-833-4647,
or Ann Morfogen of Sony Corporation of America, +1-212-833-6873

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