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EMI rejigs digital unit, waves goodbye to ex-Google CIO

Douglas Merrill in and out in under a year

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

EMI Music split with its digital head yesterday after the troubled record company decided to move the unit he oversaw into its main business operations.

Ex-Google CIO Douglas Merrill joined the firm less than a year ago. Terra Firma boss Guy Hands, whose private equity company bought the record label for close to $3.5bn in May 2007, hired Merrill as EMI’s digital strategy boss last April.

EMI has promoted Cory Ondrejka to a newly-created role of exec veep of digital marketing. He had been Merrill’s number two under the firm’s digital unit.

Ondrejka, who co-founded Second Life, joined EMI as senior vice president of digital strategy in June 2008.

The company said that while digital music sales now pulled in more than a fifth of all its revenues, it no longer seemed necessary to run a separate digital unit.

Instead it will be folded into EMI’s main biz ops in a move that some might see as the latest kneejerk reaction by the firm’s management to cut costs.

Meanwhile, Hands – whose investment has shrunk by half over the past year – stood down from running day-to-day operations at EMI in February.

A full copy of an internal memo sent round to employees yesterday detailing EMI's latest business rejig is available over at All Things Digital. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

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