The death throes of former music publishing giant EMI continue, with the announcement of the resignation of CEO Elio Leoni-Sceti. As the Times Online reports,
Mr Leoni-Sceti, who joined 18 months ago, was drawing up a business plan to save the label and was due to present a plan to bring in new investment in the next eight weeks. But [Chairman of EMI, Charles] Allen said he had chosen to leave: “Elio thought he had done what he had been asked to do.”
In a story familiar to followers of the US newspaper business, EMI was taken over in a leveraged buy-out by private equity firm Terra Firma. Terra Firma’s mogul, Guy Hands, has reportedly alienated many artists on the label’s roster with his aggressive cost-cutting techniques, but departing artists are the least of his worries. Although EMI’s music operations are actually making money, the group is buckling under the weight of massive interest repayments on the approximately 2.6 billion pounds of debt Hands borrowed in order to buy EMI in 2007. As a result of write-downs and these debt repayments, EMI lost 1.75 billion pounds last year.