Ames to Take Helm at Warner Music

Former PolyGram Music Group president Roger Ames has been named to head the Warner Music Group, parent company Time Warner announced August 16. Warner's music division, formerly the top domestic money-earner, has been stagnant in the past few years. Still one of the top five music conglomerates, it now trails Seagram's Universal Music, Bertelsmann AG, and Sony Music in total business, but retains the #2 spot in total number of albums sold, according to the Wall Street Journal. Warner's foreign business is far weaker.

"Roger is one of the few executives who really understands the record business all over the world," said Artemis Records president Danny Goldberg, who has worked closely with Ames at both PolyGram and Warner. He called Ames' promotion "a brilliant move."

Warner Music has been without leadership since the joint resignations of co-chairmen Robert A. Daly and Terry Semel in July. Ames, who will assume his new position October 4, is a music-industry veteran who spent 20 years at PolyGram before joining Warner Music International last spring after his company was acquired by Seagram. One of his immediate tasks will be to consolidate domestic and overseas operations, according to Time Warner Chairman Gerald Levin, who said the "concept of running the company from a worldwide perspective was missing before." Ames described himself as "thrilled and honored to become chairman of Warner Music Group."