More Layoffs at Universal Music Group as UK Label Division Re-Organization Moves Forward

Universal Music Group UK layoffs
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Universal Music Group UK layoffs
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Photo Credit: In Opera Group

Universal Music UK has reshaped its frontline operations with a new Audience & Media Division and an unconfirmed number of layoffs. Here’s the latest.

A memo from CEO & Chairman David Joseph confirms several changes at Universal Music UK. Island and EMI will be combined under the Island EMI Label Group, alongside the Polydor Label Group which comprises Capital and 0207 Def Jam. The move follows the restructuring of Universal Music’s operations in the United States under frontline labels Republic Corps and Interscope Capitol Labels Group.

“Music is dynamic, and constantly changing, both creatively and commercially,” adds David Joseph in the memo obtained by Music Week. “Artists need to best and most agile partners by their side. They need a home that will help them harness the opportunities of today and tomorrow, while also guarding against new risks as they emerge.”

“As a company, we must continue to be forward-looking, innovative, and bold. Developing artists now requires more creativity and patience than ever before. As our industry continues to evolve, we have been looking at ways to strengthen our labels’ capabilities to deepen artist and fan connections. You have seen some of the changes happening globally across UMG, most notably in the US with Republic Corps and Interscope Capitol Labels Group.”

The memo confirms that some roles will be impacted by the restructure, but it does not specifically confirm who is impacted. The new structure will take effect on October 1 with “two new powerhouse frontline label groups, each home to multiple labels all with creative autonomy.”

The newly combined Island EMI Label Group will be helmed by Louis Bloom as President. Meanwhile, the newly formed Polydor Label Group will be led by Ben Mortimer as President. Polydor Label Group will include a reimagined Capitol with Jo Charrington as President and 0207 Def Jam, with Alec Boateng serving as President. Laura Monks and Tom Lewis will continue to lead Decca as a standalone label focusing on classical, jazz, instrumental, folk, soul, and electronic music.

With the launch of the Audience and Media Division to serve all artists and labels, Rebecca Allen will step into the role as President. “Becky and I have spent a lot of time discussing this vision to create something revolutionary—an industry first where every type of media is seamlessly integrated,” Joseph continues in the memo. “We are assembling an elite team making this our largest division.”

“The Audience and Media Division will revolutionize how we deliver for our artists and become a new center of excellence at Universal Music UK alongside, among others, the award-winning partnerships team at Globe and a new combined eCommerce and CRM team,” Joseph says of the new division.

“While the vast majority of our team will continue to be a part of our business going forward, some roles are impacted by the proposed structural changes,” Joseph continues. “It saddens me that we will have to part ways with some incredible colleagues who have been instrumental in our journey.”