Former ITV boss Charles Allen takes helm at EMI

Music group EMI today named former ITV boss Charles Allen as executive chairman as the firm battles to improve its fortunes.

The group, which counts Robbie Williams and Coldplay among its artists, said Mr Allen would take on the combined role as current music chief executive Elio Leoni-Sceti prepares to leave at the end of March.



Mr Allen took on the role of non-executive chairman in January and today promised to ensure the firm has "a great future".



EMI, which is owned by private equity company Terra Firma, has seen its finances strained by difficult trading since it was taken over in 2007.



It posted a £1.75 billion loss for the year to March 2009 in accounts released last month after suffering more than £1.1 billion in one-off write-downs and restructuring charges.



Mr Allen, 53, was executive chairman of Granada from 2001 to 2004 and then chief executive of ITV until 2007.



He was at the ITV helm during the merger of Granada and Carlton that created the broadcaster, but his tenure was also slammed for its lack of creative leadership.



His successor Michael Grade said some of ITV's shows were "creatively bankrupt" after he took over, while regulatory controls placed on the company following the tie-up caused a fear of ratings failure.



Today Mr Allen said his goals for the EMI music business remained the same as his predecessor.



"I will support and guide the group's strong team, keep EMI's focus on creativity and superb A&R, and deliver a digital platform," he said.



"This is a great business - our task is to ensure it has a great future."



EMI said Mr Leoni-Sceti had successfully led the company through the "first phase of its operational turnaround".



"Over the past two and a half years, EMI Music has become a stronger and growing company, with a talented senior team, significant creative success and a more rigorous approach to marketing and operations," the firm said.



It said sales were up as a result, while market share had also improved and EMI grew underlying profits during the year to last March.



But the new boss has several challenges ahead as EMI presses on with recovery plans.



EMI cut more than 2,000 jobs in 2008 and recent reports have suggested cost cuts aimed at stripping millions from the business are in the offing.



Terra Firma took on huge debts when it bought the firm for £4.2 billion three years ago and it is thought to be in danger of breach lending terms without further investment - handing control to lender Citigroup.



The music firm is also currently engaged in legal action against Citigroup, claiming the group "misrepresented fundamental facts" over the sale of EMI.



It alleges Citigroup falsely said there were other bidders for the record company, causing it to raise its bid. Citigroup denies the allegations.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

SThree: Experienced Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £40000 per annum + OTE + Incentives + Benefits: SThree: Established f...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE 40/45k + INCENTIVES + BENEFITS: SThree: The su...

Recruitment Genius: Collections Agent

£14000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company was established in...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE 40k: SThree: SThree are a global FTSE 250 busi...

Day In a Page

Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones
Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

Why are we addicted to theme parks?

Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

Iran is opening up again to tourists

After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there