SONY BMG MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT Announces Management Realignment
Rolf Schmidt-Holtz and Andrew Lack to Assume New Positions
NEW YORK and GUETERSLOH, Germany
Following the successful creation of the global recorded music joint venture SONY BMG MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT 18 months ago, the parent companies Sony Corporation of America and Bertelsmann AG are moving forward with a management realignment that will further strengthen the operation of the company. Effective immediately, Rolf Schmidt-Holtz, formerly Chairman of the Board of SONY BMG MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT, is named Chief Executive Officer, SONY BMG MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT. Andrew Lack, who has been Chief Executive Officer, SONY BMG MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT, assumes the position of Chairman of the Board, SONY BMG MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT. SONY BMG MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT, which is headquartered in New York, will continue to be governed by a Board of Directors consisting of six representatives of Bertelsmann and Sony.
In his new position Mr. Schmidt-Holtz will have overall management responsibility for the company and be based in New York. Mr. Lack, as Chairman of the Board, will lead the company's public policy and industry initiatives, and assume operating responsibility and oversight for the theatrical film business of Sony BMG, and be based in New York. The senior management team will also include the Chief Financial Officer, Kevin Kelleher, and a Chief Operating Officer to be appointed shortly.
The joint venture SONY BMG MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT was formally announced on August 5, 2004. It is 50% owned by Bertelsmann and 50% owned by Sony Corporation of America. It encompasses some of the most influential and successful record labels in the world and a wide array of recording artists, and operates worldwide. Messrs Schmidt-Holtz and Lack were instrumental in joining together to begin the negotiations and ultimately implement the joint venture.
"We are very fortunate to have executives of this high caliber at SONY BMG MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT," said Sir Howard Stringer, Chairman and CEO, Sony Corporation. "Together Andy and Rolf worked tirelessly to bring about the merger and begin the integration of our global operations. Thanks to that effort SONY BMG is well-positioned to deal with the complex issues and rapid changes facing the music industry, and it continues to maintain strong market position as well as a particularly strong performance in this past quarter in comparison with the industry overall. With this management change Rolf and Andy are now aligned in positions that will take advantage of the significant progress the company has already made, as well as their formidable business skills and respective management experiences. Together they will continue to strengthen the company's relationship with artists and the creative community, secure its global reach and provide great entertainment to music lovers around the world. I want to thank them both for the successes of the past 18 months and say that we all look forward to working with them in their new positions."
"Sony BMG is gaining a media executive who is as experienced as he is successful. Rolf Schmidt-Holtz has impressively proven his flair for the creative and economic aspects of success in the music business -. and under the most difficult of market conditions -- at the helm of the Bertelsmann Music Group. I wish him all the best and continued success for his future assignment. Andrew Lack successfully led the organizational integration process following the merger. This achievement is a real milestone for SONY BMG MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT," said Gunter Thielen, Chairman and CEO of Bertelsmann AG.
"I am honored to be asked to lead Sony BMG and to take us forward as a leader in music and entertainment. I know a deep commitment to our artists and our shareholders is shared by our employees worldwide, and by working together we will continue to grow Sony BMG as a creative powerhouse," said Rolf Schmidt-Holtz, CEO, SONY BMG MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT.
"I am extremely pleased to take on this new leadership role with the company and to continue to help SONY BMG accelerate its tremendous growth and performance," said Andrew Lack, Chairman of the Board, SONY BMG MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT. "Rolf and I are fortunate to have a roster of extraordinary artists and a top notch team of creative executives around the world. Now, with the integration behind us, SONY BMG is poised to achieve outstanding success."
Rolf Schmidt-Holtz Biography
Rolf Schmidt-Holtz served as Chairman of the Board of SONY BMG MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT from August 2004 to February 2006. Since January 2001, he headed the Bertelsmann Music Group (BMG), New York, as Chairman and CEO. He led BMG into the merger of the recorded music business with Sony Music Entertainment International in August 2004 and, since, assumed the role of Chairman of the Board of the joint venture.
At the same time, Rolf Schmidt-Holtz was a member of the Bertelsmann AG Executive Board and headed the BMG division which, today, consists of the joint venture share in SONY BMG MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT and of BMG Music Publishing. He also served as Chief Creative Officer of Bertelsmann AG.
His career spans high-profile positions for major European television and print media, having worked as a journalist, TV editor and correspondent, magazine editor in chief and publisher, newspaper publisher and TV executive. In 1986 he was appointed Editor in Chief of German public broadcaster WDR where he ran a weekly political talk show. In 1988, he became publisher and, two years later, Editor in Chief of Gruner + Jahr's Stern news magazine, halting the circulation decline by reestablishing the publication's reputation. From 1989 he also served as a member of the Executive Board of Gruner + Jahr. In 1994, he was appointed CEO of Bertelsmann's television business UFA which he led into the merger with Luxembourg based broadcaster CLT to form CLT-UFA in 1997. As CEO of CLT-UFA he orchestrated the combination with Pearson Television to form RTL Group in 2000.
Rolf Schmidt-Holtz, born on August 31, 1948 in Martinsreuth, Germany, is an examined lawyer and studied political science as well as psychology.
Andrew Lack Biography
As CEO of SONY BMG MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT from August 2004 to February 2006 Mr. Lack oversaw all operations of the global recorded music company, a leading producer and marketer of pre-recorded music and video. From January 2003 to August 2004 he served as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Sony Music Entertainment.
Previously, he served as President and Chief Operating Officer for NBC since June of 2001. During his tenure with NBC he oversaw Entertainment, News, including MSNBC and CNBC, NBC Stations, Sales, and Broadcast & Network Operations.
From 1993 to 2001, Mr. Lack was the president of NBC News, where he transformed the News division into the most-watched news organization. NBC Nightly News with Tom Brokaw, Meet the Press, and The Today Show each became No. 1 in their time periods, and the primetime franchise Dateline NBC became a significant part of NBC's primetime programming strategy. Mr. Lack quadrupled the number of Dateline programs produced by NBC news, expanded the Today show to three hours, and was responsible for the creation of Today's streetside, "window on the world" studio in New York's Rockefeller Center.
Before going to NBC, Mr. Lack spent much of his television career at CBS News, where he created and served as the executive producer of the groundbreaking newsmagazine West 57th (1985-89). He served as the senior executive producer of the landmark CBS Reports for nearly a decade (1978-85), producing acclaimed documentaries such as "People Like Us" (1982), "Teddy" with Roger Mudd, "The Boat People" (1979), "The Defense of the United States" (1981), and "Bittersweet Memories: A Vietnam Reunion" (1981). He joined CBS News in 1976 and by the next year had become a prominent producer for 60 Minutes.
Mr. Lack's broadcasts at CBS earned numerous honors, including 16 Emmy Awards, 4 Alfred I. DuPont-Columbia University Journalism Awards, 5 Ohio State Awards, an Oversees Press Club Award, 2 Gravel Awards from the American Bar Association, a George Polk Award and a Clarion Award.
Andrew Lack attended the Sorbonne and received a bachelor of fine arts degree from the School of Fine Arts at Boston University in 1968. He lives in New York with his wife, Betsy Kenny Lack, and their children.
The media company Bertelsmann commands globally leading positions in the major markets. Its core business is the creation of first-class media content. Bertelsmann includes RTL Group, Europe's No.1 in television and radio, as well as the world's biggest book-publishing group, Random House, with more than 100 publishing imprints (Alfred A. Knopf, Bantam, Goldmann). Gruner + Jahr, the European No.1 in magazine publishing (Stern, Geo, Capital) and the BMG music division -- comprised of the Sony BMG joint venture (Anastacia, Alicia Keys, Beyonce, Dido, Usher) and BMG Music Publishing -- also stand for creativity and powerful brands. The Arvato division bundles the group's media services, which include the expanding units Arvato Logistics Services and Arvato Direct Services (distribution, service centers, customer relationship management), along with state-of-the-art printers, storage media production and comprehensive IT-services. Bertelsmann's direct-to-customer businesses are bundled in Direct Group: book and music clubs with more than 35 million members all over the world.
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 Computer Entertainment America Inc., and a 50% interest in SONY BMG MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT, one of the largest recorded music companies in the world. Sony recorded consolidated annual sales of approximately $67 billion for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2005, and it employs 151,400 people worldwide. Sony's consolidated sales in the U.S. for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2005 were $18.4 billion. For more information see http://www.sony.com/.
SONY BMG MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT is a global recorded music joint venture with a roster of current artists that includes a broad array of both local artists and international superstars, as well as a vast catalog that comprises some of the most important recordings in history. SONY BMG is 50% owned by Bertelsmann A.G. and 50% owned by Sony Corporation of America.
SOURCE: Sony Corporation of America
CONTACT: Elizabeth Young of Bertelsmann Inc., +1-212-782-9009,
firstname.lastname@example.org, or Andreas Grafemeyer of Bertelsmann AG, +49-5241-80-2466,
email@example.com, or Jennifer Glass of Sony Corporation of
America, +1-212-833-6975, firstname.lastname@example.org, or Mack Araki,
+1-212-833-6821, email@example.com, or Cory Shields for SONY BMG MUSIC
ENTERTAINMENT/ US/ Germany, +1-212-833-4647, firstname.lastname@example.org
Web site: http://www.sony.com/