John O’Donnell has returned to EMI to head the new operation of the company within Universal Music.
O’Donnell was Managing Director of EMI in Australia from 2002 to 2008.
“It was impossible to resist the opportunity to return to EMI and oversee a full-service music company with a vision for the future,” said O’Donnell in a statement. “EMI is a label with brilliant international and local artists and the great staff at the heart of the Australian company have defined themselves as creative, innovative music professionals. I can’t wait to get in the middle of all of that.”
Max Hole, Chairman and CEO of Universal Music Group International, said: “Everyone who has ever worked with John knows that he is synonymous with great artists and great music. Developing and investing further in our Australian artists is a key international goal for us. I’m thrilled that John has agreed to return to EMI to play such a crucial role.”
“John’s legacy of success at EMI, of finding and helping to develop so many incredible artists, speaks for itself and for him to come back to the label he helped to build into one of Australia’s best is not only exciting but critical to our vision for EMI,” said George Ash, Universal Music Australia Preisdent. “Our aim is to broaden and refresh the entrepreneurial edge that has been such a part of EMI’s proud heritage and with John at the helm we know that the company will be in the best possible hands.”
John O’Donnell was Music Editor of Rolling Stone and Juice magazine before joining Sony Music Australia in 1994. He started the indie label Murmur and signed Silverchair, Something For Kate and Jebediah.
John was also a member of the ARIA Board and served as Chairman of PPCA from 2005-2008.
More recently he co-managed Cold Chisel with John Watson and oversaw the 2011 Australian and New Zealand tour.
John was also Executive Producer of the ‘They Will Have Their Way’ tour and album series, paying tribute to the Fin n Brothers.
John O’Donnell will operate from the Universal/EMI head office at The Rocks in Sydney from March 3.