EMI CEO Losing Job

LONDON (AP) – EMI Group Chief Executive Eric Nicoli, under fire in recent years for his leadership of the struggling music company, will step down under a management shuffle by its new private equity owner.

Terra Firma Capital Partners, which paid 2.4 billion pounds ($4.9 billion) for EMI, said Wednesday that Chief Financial Officer Martin Stewart will also leave ahead of EMI's delisting from the London Stock Exchange next month.

Terra Firma said it will implement a new governance structure, under which the EMI board will report to a new supervisory board chaired by Terra Firma boss Guy Hands.

One of the private equity firm's managing directors, Chris Roling, will become chief operating officer and chief financial officer of both EMI Group and EMI Music. Another Terra Firma director, Ashley Unwin, will become director of business transformation.

“The initial focus will be to maximize the value of the significant assets in EMI's publishing business and to realize the digital opportunity in recorded music,” said Hands.

EMI Group PLC has struggled more than other music companies amid declining physical CD sales, blaming disappointing North American CD sales for profit warnings. But analysts say that the overall industry's woes do not entirely explain EMI's poor performance, pointing out that Warner and Universal have weathered the storm better.

They instead highlight EMI's lack of promising new songs and internal control problems.