Power vacuum at EMI as Southgate stays on
Expected succession at music group fails to materialise as two other FTSE 100 boardrooms undergo high-level changes in personnel
Saturday 21 February 1998
Mr Fifield, who is known as "Lucky Jim" because of his high pay, will remain in his position as chief executive officer of EMI Music, reporting to Sir Colin, EMI said.
EMI denied that the board had balked at the terms demanded by Mr Fifield to take over as chief executive. City speculation had suggested that Mr Fifield was demanding a contract worth pounds 10m a year to take over the reins. Mr Fifield is already one of the FTSE 100's highest paid businessmen and earned pounds 7m last year. His contract would also have awarded him a pounds 10.9m severance payment if the company is taken over.
"It has nothing to do with the terms," an EMI spokeswoman said. "It was Sir Colin who expressed an interest in being non-executive chairman. We were waiting for the board discussion on that and, following the meeting, there is no change.''
The decision was taken at an EMI board meeting yesterday at which is was expected that Sir Colin would move to a non-executive role. The City has been expecting Sir Colin to reduce his commitments to EMI following his appointment as chairman of the Royal Opera House last month.
Analysts said the announcement seemed only a temporary solution to the succession question and that the potential power vacuum underneath Sir Colin may increase the possibility of a bid for the group. Seagram and Disney are possible predators.
Ken Berry, president of EMI's recorded music worldwide has previously been tipped as a potential successor but difficult trading conditions music markets have made his weakened his claim on the top job.
"It seems clear that Sir Colin would like to take a less executive role but the reasons for this decision are not clear," one analyst said. The analyst added that Sir Colin appeared to have too many commitments given the difficulties at EMI, which has been hit be a slowing of CD sales and the impact of the Asia crisis and the scale of his job at the Royal Opera House. He is also a director of the Bank of England and has two non-executive directorships.
Separately, EMI is set to announce the pounds 300m deal to buy the Waterstone's book business from WH Smith next week. It will then demerge the new company which will also include Dillons and HMV.
It is expected that the reduced size of the company will lead to a reduction in the number of directors. "The board would start looking a bit top-heavy," one insider said.
EMI shares have performed poorly since the demerger of Thorn-EMI in July 1996. They have fallen from their peak of 738.5p that summer to 494.5p, up 10p yesterday.
- 1 To help fuel their propaganda machine against the poor, our government has now decided to redefine the word 'welfare'
- 2 Tower Bridge glass walkway 'smashed' by night-time visitor dropping bottle of beer
- 3 Anti-gay hate preacher accidentally tweets 4,000 followers cartoon clip of him 'confessing' to be a 'homosexual sodomite'
- 4 Woman opens professional cuddling shop – gets 10,000 customers in first week
- 5 Grayson Perry: London needs affordable housing because 'rich people don't create culture'
Kenya bus attack: Primary school head teacher plays dead to escape slaughter by Islamic extremists
Tower Bridge glass walkway 'smashed' by night-time visitor dropping bottle of beer
Anti-gay hate preacher accidentally tweets 4,000 followers cartoon clip of him 'confessing' to be a 'homosexual sodomite'
Woman opens professional cuddling shop – gets 10,000 customers in first week
Grayson Perry: London needs affordable housing because 'rich people don't create culture'
Rochester by-election: Ukip gains second MP as Tory defector Mark Reckless holds seat
'Beast of Bolsover' Dennis Skinner takes Ukip MP Mark Reckless to task moments after he is sworn in
Rochester by-election: Labour MP Emily Thornberry resigns after posting white van and England flags tweet
France 'blocks' Russian sailors from boarding a warship
Rochester aftermath: Sacking of Emily Thornberry will make work of Labour MPs '10 times harder'
Revealed: How the world gets rich – from privatising British public services
iJobs Money & Business
Voluntary Only - Expenses Reimbursed: Reach Volunteering: Age Concern Slough a...
Voluntary Only - Expenses Reimbursed: Reach Volunteering: Crossroads Care is s...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £35,000: SThree: We consistently strive to be ...
£50000 - £90000 per annum + benefits: Ampersand Consulting LLP: Markit EDM (CA...