Layoffs & Speculation Hit Universal Motown

Last Friday, June 17th, Universal Motown Group and Island Def Jam Music Group announced a new centralized office structure and a mandate to dramatically increase artist investments across its labels. They have laid off approximately 20 staff members, mostly from back office positions in the legal, finance and digital departments within the company. In addition, UMG has been consolidating their artist roster, which is home to many established artists in today’s music industry, such as, Justin Bieber, Mary J. Blige and Rihanna.

In the midst of all of the lay offs, five people were actually promoted to new positions within the label. However, with Sylvia Rhones departure from the company last month, things seem to be heading in a downward direction. Despite the gossip, Universal Motown CEO and chairman, Barry Weiss seems to have a positive outlook on the labels recent changes:

   “In an effort to better serve our artists and business partners, UMRG and IDJMG are reallocating resources to achieve greater efficiencies,” CEO, Barry Weiss said. “While this will unfortunately result in some redundancy, it will allow for increased expenditures on the creative front across all of our labels, with particular plans to double our A&R investment and Universal Motown. Moreover, by centralizing these select functions, our artists and business partners will also benefit from a more concentrated and streamlined approach in the areas of legal, finance, international and digital. This will allow us to operate with much more flexibility and speed; two qualities necessary for our continued growth in this challenging marketplace.”

~ by bristolstudios on June 22, 2011.

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