Warner Music Group has officially confirmed that Miles Leonard will step down as Chairman of UK-based Parlophone Records in January 2018. He will continue in an advisory A&R role and support the label’s leadership transition until late 2018.
As revealed by MBW earlier this month, Mark Mitchell – currently GM of Atlantic Records UK – will become Co-President of the label on January 1, 2018.
A ‘Co-President’, of course, semantically needs a fellow Co-President alongside them to run a company.
As we reported in our original story, MBW hears that Warner/Parlophone is keen on hiring Virgin EMI’s SVP of A&R in London, Nick Burgess, for the role – but there have been no official noises on that front so far.
If Burgess is drafted in to Parlophone, it would mirror Max Lousada’s recent move at Warner Bros in California – bringing together a marketing specialist (Tom Corson) with an A&R expert (Aaron Bay-Schuck) at the top of a flagship label.
Press release below.
Miles Leonard, Chairman, Parlophone Records, has announced his decision to step away from the running of the label in January 2018. Leonard, who has worked at the iconic record company for 23 years, will continue in an advisory A&R role and support the leadership transition until late 2018, after which he will continue working with Warner Music on key artists and special projects.
Mark Mitchell has been named as Co-President of Parlophone Records from 1st January 2018, reporting into Max Lousada, CEO Recorded Music, WMG & Chairman and CEO, Warner Music UK. Having played a key role in supporting the development and promotion of Atlantic artists for eight years, Mitchell will be responsible for driving the label’s strategy as well as overseeing all marketing, press, digital, design and promo functions.
Miles Leonard, who has signed and nurtured artists such as Coldplay, Gorillaz, Tinie Tempah, Royal Blood, Blur, Kylie, Paul Weller and Lily Allen said, “Working at Parlophone has been the adventure of a lifetime. It’s been a privilege to be the custodian of a label that occupies such a unique place in popular culture and to have worked with so many unique and inspiring artists, managers and teams. It was a difficult decision, but now really is the right time for me to give up my day-to-day responsibilities so I can focus solely on the music and artists I love. Mitch and I have known each other for many years. He is driven, passionate and he’s a great guy. Stepping down is both easy and exciting when passing Parlophone on to a leader of his calibre. I just hope he is also ready for the next 23 years…”
Max Lousada commented “Miles is the definition of music man. Under his guidance Parlophone has discovered and championed seminal artists who’ve released important, much-loved music and been wildly successful doing it. Miles has always understood that true artist development takes a lot of heart and he brings that to everything he does, so I’m excited for how his relationship with Warner will evolve and grateful for his extraordinary contribution to music over the past two decades.”
“I couldn’t be happier that Mitch is taking on this role. He has the rare skill of understanding how to break artists as well as delivering massive moments for global superstars. He thinks like an indie while operating in a major, which means a diverse array of artists have flourished thanks to his expertise. This is a fantastic new chapter for Mitch and for Parlophone.”
Mark Mitchell said “It’s an honour to work for such a prestigious label that’s considered a bastion of British cultural influence. Parlophone has never been scared to embrace distinctive and disruptive talent and that’s a tradition that I’m looking forward to continuing. I’d like to thank Miles for his support and Max for this remarkable opportunity.”
Mitchell will continue as General Manager for Atlantic Records UK until the end of the year. Throughout his time at the label he has been instrumental in the campaigns for Ed Sheeran, Anne-Marie, Plan B, Bruno Mars, Clean Bandit, Jess Glynne, James Blunt and Rudimental, to name but a few. He joined Atlantic in 2009 as a Senior Marketing Manager, was promoted to Marketing Director in 2011 and named General Manager in January 2012. Previously, he established and ran King Harvest, a marketing consultancy with clients including The Prodigy, Domino Records with acts like Arctic Monkeys and Franz Ferdinand, as well as Skint and Fatboy Slim. Prior to that, he was Marketing Director, Vital Sales and Marketing, now known as PIAS.
Leonard began his illustrious career in the music industry as an A&R scout at Virgin Records in 1991. Leonard joined the Parlophone A&R team in 1995, was then appointed President of A&R for Parlophone in 2008 and became President of Parlophone & Virgin in 2011. Following the acquisition of Parlophone Label Group by Warner Music Group in 2013 Leonard was named Chairman of Warner Bros. Records UK & Parlophone, and for the last 18 months he has focused on the success of Parlophone acts. Over his career Leonard has worked with: The Verve, Kylie, Coldplay, David Guetta, Royal Blood, Paul Weller, Emeli Sandé, Gorillaz, Bastille, Tinie Tempah, Stereophonics and Blur.Music Business Worldwide