EMI gets digital, grabs Google exec

In a move that puts Apple’s original iTunes Plus partner at the forefront of the convergence between digital and conventional entertainment technologies, EMI Music has hired Google’s chief information officer Douglas Merrill, to lead its growing digital music business. 

As President, Digital Business, EMI Music, Merrill will head an all new international project with responsibility for all of the company’s digital strategy, innovation, business development, supply chain and global technology activities.

Guy Hands, CEO of Terra Firma and chairman of EMI Group, said: "Douglas is a proven agent of change who combines broad business intellect with a deep engineering background. He has been a key member of the management team at Google which has created more value than any other consumer internet company by focusing relentlessly on tools that enable consumers to do things more effectively.  His experience, talents and his ability to drive innovation will be enormously valuable to EMI and to its artists.“

Merrill said: "I have two passions. One is creating platforms and tools that make it easier for consumers to achieve their goals.  The other is music.  This exciting new role at EMI is a unique opportunity for me to be able to put those two passions to work together and help deliver EMI’s objective of providing the best services in the world to consumers and musicians.”

Merrill starts work at EMI on 28 April and will be based at EMI Music’s LA HQ in the Capitol Tower.  He will report to Guy Hands. 

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