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"With the undeniable strength of this team, we’re in a great position to give our artists the support they need to meet their goals, to continue to build the legacy of the Sony Music Label Group and to hit our financial targets."


Longtime Exec's Expanded Role Reflects a Vote of Confidence from Schmidt-Holtz
He's not only the man at Sony Music Label Group, he's the Chairman.

According to a report by the N.Y. Times' Jeff Leeds, Don Ienner has been named Chairman of Sony Music Label Group U.S., in addition to his existing responsibilities as CEO. It's the first important personnel announcement by newly named Sony BMG Music Entertainment CEO Rolf Schmidt-Holtz since switching posts with now Board Chairman Andrew Lack. The N.Y.-based Ienner reports directly to Schmidt-Holtz.

As Chairman and CEO, Ienner oversees all activities of the labels and divisions within the Sony Music Label Group, including Columbia Records Group, Epic Records, Sony Music Nashville and Sony Urban Music. He also works closely with the company's senior management team in developing and implementing strategic initiatives relating to a wide array of areas, including Legacy Recordings, RED Distribution and Sony Wonder.

The move represents a vote of confidence for Ienner's restructuring of his label group, putting Steve Barnett and Charlie Walk at the top of Columbia and Epic Records, respectively.

Said Schmidt-Holtz: “Don Ienner is known throughout the industry for both his fierce devotion to his artists, and for his uncompromising dedication to excellence. During his 18 years with Sony Music, he has played a central role in the success of countless numbers of artists and projects, and as the leader of the Sony Music Label Group has shown himself to be an executive of enormous talent, making it a true pleasure to announce this well-deserved promotion. Not to mention the most blinding smile in the business.”

Ienner thanked Rolf for the honor. “I look forward to working closely with him as we continue to develop the very best new artists and build our business overall. I’d also like to express my gratitude to the many talented people within the Sony Music Label Group who have made our success possible. From employees at every part of the Group to our President/COO Michele Anthony, Columbia’s Steve Barnett, Epic’s Charlie Walk, Sony Urban’s Lisa Ellis and Nashville’s John Grady, our artists benefit every day from the great work being done by what I firmly believe is the best team in the business. With the undeniable strength of this team, we’re in a great position to give our artists the support they need to meet their goals, to continue to build the legacy of the Sony Music Label Group and to hit our financial targets.”

Ienner was named CEO of Sony Music Label Group, U.S. in 2004, adding this title to that of President of Sony Music Label Group, U.S., which he'd held since April 2003. In December of 2005 he oversaw a highly successful restructuring of the Group’s labels and divisions, and named Michele Anthony his successor as President, Sony Music Label Group, U.S.

Ienner's accomplishments include creating the Sony Urban Music division, joining with Kanye West to form the new Getting Out Our Dreams label, revitalizing the Nashville labels, and creating a bolstered A&R and artist development division including Michael Caplan, David Massey, Keith Naftaly, Jay Landers and 2006 Grammy-winning Producer of the Year Steve Lillywhite.

Ienner joined the company in 1989 as President, Columbia Records Group, at 36, the youngest President in the label's 120-year history. He served in this capacity for more than 13 years as the longest-serving President in the company's history. From 1994-2003 he also served as Chairman, Columbia Records Group, helping the label earn the title of the music industry's #1 record label in overall market share for seven consecutive years.

Prior to joining Columbia, Ienner was EVP/GM of Arista Records. He began his music industry career in 1969, taking a position in the Capitol Records mail room while still in high school. From 1972 to 1977 he was in partnership with his brother Jimmy in C.A.M. U.S.A., a publishing, management and production company which represented such artists as Three Dog Night, Grand Funk Railroad, Blood, Sweat & Tears, the Raspberries and Eric Carmen. In 1977 he co-founded Millennium Records, where he served as Executive VP until joining Arista.