Layoff Ax Dangles Precariously at Sony Music and Universal [Updated 11/20 9am PCT]…

Update: 11/20, 9 am PCT: Reports of several chops at Universal Music Group are now coming in, with heavy casualties affecting the NY-based digital team.  That includes Bill Campbell (Senior Vice President, Digital Business, Global Digital Business Group), Chris Bonavia (Senior Director, Business and Legal Affairs), and Chris Papaleo (Senior Director, Global Digital Business), among others.  There are also whispers of a ‘London-based coup’ for leadership of UMG’s digital initiatives, that may have had a direct impact on these layoffs.  

The original article, posted Tuesday, follows.  More as we know more…


Possible layoffs are ahead at both Sony Music Entertainment and Universal Music Group.

The New York Times reports that Sony Entertainment has hired Bain & Company to help cut at least $100 million in costs. This is expected to impact Sony Pictures highly, but according to multiple sources to Digital Music News, could bring massive cuts to Sony Music Entertainment as well.   Bain’s recommendations are expected to traverse various Sony entertainment properties, and sweeps could arrive abruptly before Christmas.

Sony Corporation lost a net total of $196 million last quarter, which is certainly guiding some of these moves.

A similar future seems to be in store for UMG.  Even though Universal Music just reported a quarterly revenue bump of 21.9 percent, chitter-chatter continues to focus on ax-dropping ahead.  East coast digital personnel will likely be affected, and rumors also surround Interscope staff on the west coast. Interscope reportedly spent $25 million promoting Lady Gaga’s ARTPOP, which is not meeting sales expectations, though it’s unclear if there’s any connection here (though, Gaga’s manager Troy Carter has already been fired…)

More as it develops.


Image by Sean MacEntee, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0)

5 Responses

  1. Yo Momma

    This happens every year around Christmas time….why does everyone act so surprised?…(singing in a Dead Prez melody) – Its bigger than “Art Pop”!

  2. me

    Does anyone else see the irony that this is posted:

    Director, Digital Sales & Marketing Posting
    Sony Music Entertainment
    New York, NY

    the same day as one of the headlines says this?
    Possible layoffs are ahead at both Sony Music Entertainment and Universal Music Group.

    hmmmmm…..errr… no thank you.


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