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EMI bosses quit as company is de-listed.

Top bosses at troubled music label EMI are to quit the group as the firm's new private equity owners prepare to take the company private, it was announced yesterday. Group chief executive Eric Nicoli and chief financial officer Martin Stewart are stepping down ahead of the EMI's de-listing from the stock market on September 18 after its pounds 2.4bn takeover by Terra Firma.

EMI - home to stars including Amy Winehouse, Robbie Williams and Lily Allen - confirmed that the head of its music publishing division, New York-based chairman and chief executive Roger Faxon, will remain in his position.

Mr Faxon's music publishing arm is one of EMI's only strongly performing divisions as the group has struggled amid a declining market for CD-based sales and competition from digital downloading.

Mr Nicoli and Mr Stewart could stand to receive multi-million pound "golden goodbye" payouts as a result of the management reshuffle.

EMI declined to comment on their leaving packages, but the group's annual report states that on termination of employment, Mr Nicoli is entitled to a lump sum payment of at least pounds 1.7m, while Mr Stewart could pick up around pounds 1.3m.

Mr Nicoli, who became chairman and chief executive of EMI in 1999, is already believed to be receiving a significant chunk of up to pounds 5.3m in outstanding performance-related share awards.

He is also able to realise share options on EMI's sale, worth around pounds 474,000, based on Terra Firma's 265p-a-share offer.

Mr Faxon is entitled to around pounds 674,000 in share options on EMI's takeover by Terra Firma.

Mr Nicoli and Mr Stewart will be replaced by Terra Firma's Chris Roling, who takes on the post of chief operating and financial officer, and Ashley Unwin, who becomes director of business transformation for EMI Group and EMI Music.

Financier Guy Hands, who runs Terra Firma, will also chair a new supervisory board to steer the group and focus on EMI's "strategic business relationships".

EMI has suffered as music sales have dwindled in recent years. Mr Nicoli took over managing the music division earlier this year after former boss Alain Levy was ousted amid plummeting sales and a profits warning.
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Title Annotation:Business
Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Aug 30, 2007
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