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British EMI Group’s Chief Executive Resigns

The corporate roller-coaster ride at EMI Group continued as the British music giant’s chief executive, James Fifield, stepped down and walked away with a $21-million buy-out package. Fifield, who left his post a year before his contract was due to expire, could not be reached for comment. The company also announced that it had named EMI Recorded Music Chief Ken Berry and EMI Music Publishing Chief Martin Bandier to its board of directors. Because EMI does not plan to hire a replacement for Fifield, Berry and Bandier will now report to EMI Group Chairman Sir Colin Southgate. Southgate has suggested that he has considered retiring in July after he turns 60. It is unclear whether the EMI board has designated a candidate to succeed Southgate should he decide to step down. EMI stock, which plunged in January following a profit warning, has since rebounded amid rumors that Seagram Co. and Walt Disney Co. were considering acquiring it. EMI’s American depositary receipts rose 19 cents to close at $16.31 on Nasdaq.


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