Southgate departs EMI with pounds 800,000 payoff

SIR COLIN SOUTHGATE, the controversial executive chairman of EMI, is to receive a payoff of about pounds 800,000 following yesterday's announcement that he is to be replaced at the helm of the music group by Eric Nicoli, the chief executive of United Biscuits.

The surprise appointment of Mr Nicoli, a United Biscuits veteran with little experience of the music industry, ended EMI's five-month search for a new chief. At the end of last year Sir Colin told the group that he wanted to quit to focus on his job as chairman of London's crisis-torn Royal Opera House.

The company said yesterday Sir Colin would go at the end of July after 15 years with EMI, 10 of them in the top job. His contract runs until 2001, and sources said he would receive around pounds 800,000 as compensation for loss of earnings.

Mr Nicoli, a non-executive director of EMI since 1993, is to receive a pay package of over pounds 500,000 plus a one-off payment for losing his United Biscuits loyalty bonus. He will be replaced at United Biscuits by Leslie Van der Walle, chief executive of its McVitie's subsidiary.

The 48-year old Mr Nicoli, who has headed the food company since 1991, was chosen ahead of several well-known music industry names, including Alain Levy, former head of Polygram.

Insiders said Mr Nicoli's inexperience of the music business would not be a drawback. "He hasn't been hired for his knowledge of the music industry. He has been hired for his managerial and leadership capabilities," one said. The appointment of an outsider would guarantee the independence of Ken Berry and Martin Bandier, the respected chiefs of EMI's records and music publishing divisions, he added.

Mr Nicoli's priorities will be to turn round EMI's share performance and mend his predecessor's rift with investors. Sir Colin had a mixed relationship with the City. His demerger of rental group Thorn and HMV in the early 1990s was credited with transforming EMI into a focused music business. However, more recently he was attacked for rebuffing a 600p- a-share pounds 4.7bn takeover offer from Seagram of Canada. The rejection caused a collapse in EMI's share price.

Sir Colin also came under fire for the pounds 12.5m payoff awarded to Jim Fifield, who quit the group after being rejected as chief executive-designate.

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?
Independent Dating
and  

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Advisor

£15000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Advisors are r...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £45K: SThree: SThree were established in 1986....

Recruitment Genius: Compliance Manager

£40000 - £60000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Compliance Manager is require...

SThree: Talent Acquisition Consultant

£22500 - £27000 per annum + OTE £45K: SThree: Since our inception in 1986, STh...

Day In a Page

John Palmer: 'Goldfinger' of British crime was murdered, say police

Murder of the Brink’s-MAT mastermind

'Goldfinger' of British crime's life ended in a blaze of bullets, say police
Forget little green men - aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert

Forget little green men

Leading evolutionary biologist says aliens will look like humans
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: An Algerian scientist adjusts to life working in a kebab shop

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

An Algerian scientist struggles to adjust to her new life working in a Scottish kebab shop
Bodyworlds museum: Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy

Dying dream of Doctor Death

Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy
UK heatwave: Temperature reaches 39.8 degrees on Central Line - the sweatiest place in London

39.8 degrees recorded on Tube

There's hot (London) and too damn hot (the Underground). Simon Usborne braved the Central line to discover what its passengers suffer
Kitchens go hi-tech: From robot chefs to recipe-shopping apps, computerised cooking is coming

Computerised cooking is coming

From apps that automatically make shopping lists from your recipe books to smart ovens and robot chefs, Kevin Maney rounds up innovations to make your mouth water
Jessie Cave interview: The Harry Potter star has published a feminist collection of cartoons

Jessie Cave's feminist cartoons

The Harry Potter star tells Alice Jones how a one-night stand changed her life
Football Beyond Borders: Even the most distruptive pupils score at homework club

Education: Football Beyond Borders

Add football to an after-school homework club, and even the naughtiest boys can score
10 best barbecue books

Fire up the barbie: 10 best barbecue books

We've got Bibles to get you grilling and smoking like a true south American pro
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - Junk balls and chop and slice are only way 5ft 1in Kurumi Nara can live with Petra Kvitova’s power

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

Junk balls and chop and slice are only way 5ft 1in Kurumi Nara can live with Petra Kvitova’s power
Ron Dennis exclusive: ‘This is one of the best McLaren teams ever – we are going to do it’

‘This is one of the best McLaren teams ever – we are going to do it’

Ron Dennis shrugs off a poor start to the season in an exclusive interview, and says the glory days will come back
Seifeddine Rezgui: What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?

Making of a killer

What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?
UK Heatwave: Temperatures on the tube are going to exceed the legal limit for transporting cattle

Just when you thought your commute couldn't get any worse...

Heatwave will see temperatures on the Tube exceed legal limit for transporting cattle
Exclusive - The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Swapping Bucharest for London

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Meet the man who swapped Romania for the UK in a bid to provide for his family, only to discover that the home he left behind wasn't quite what it seemed
Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Solar power will help bring down electricity prices over the next five years, according to a new report. But it’s cheap imports of ‘dirty power’ that will lower them the most