Tom Whalley Exits Warner Bros. Records. As WMG Names New Executive Team
(UPDATED) Tom Whalley, who has served as Chairman and CEO of Warner Bros. Records since 2001, is leaving the label in a shakeup that substantially changes the makeup of the exectuive suite. The new team includes Rob Cavallo (currently WMG’s Chief Creative Officer), who will serve as Chairman, Todd Moscowitz (currently EVP at Warner Bros, CEO of WMG’s Independent Label Group and Pres. of Asylum Records) who will serve as Co-President and CEO and Livia Tortella (currently EVP and GM of WMG’s Atlantic Records) becomes Co-President and COO.The Warner Bros. Records label group includes the Warner Bros., Asylum, Nonesuch, Reprise and Sire imprints.
Official Statements &
Warner Brothers Records Executive Biographies
In making the announcement, Lyor Cohen, WMG’s Vice Chairman and Chairman and CEO, Recorded Music – Americas and the U.K. said, “The new Warner Bros. executive team represents the ideal combination of skills to operate a successful music company in today’s radically evolving industry environment. With Rob’s creative brilliance, Todd’s proven ability to develop and execute new business models and revenue streams and Livia’s established track record of building lasting artist careers, we have in place a group of executives who are uniquely positioned to continue to strengthen the reputation of Warner Bros. as an artist-friendly haven with a visionary approach to discovering and nurturing new talent.”
“Tom Whalley is one of this industry’s most accomplished executives and his contributions to WMG are enormous, having restored Warner Bros. to its leadership position,” said Cohen. “Just consider his near-decade of creative and operational success at Warner Bros., including ranking as one of the country's top three labels every year since 2003 and as the country’s top label in two of the last five years. Tom embodies a rare combination of great creative instincts with a deep understanding of the music business, and we are privileged to have had him lead Warner Bros.”
Cohen stated, “Since joining Warner Bros. in 2001, Diarmuid Quinn has successfully guided the development and marketing of the company's roster, resulting in numerous global artist successes. We wish both Tom and Diarmuid all success.”
“I leave here extremely proud of what we’ve accomplished,” said Tom Whalley. “I don’t know a more talented group of professionals than the Warner Bros. team. After working with them for almost a decade, I’m awed by what they’ve done and by the roster we’ve built together. I’ll miss them and our amazing artists, and wish them all the best. I’d like to thank both Edgar and Lyor for their leadership and their acceptance of my decision. I also want to thank all of the men and women whom I’ve had the great privilege to work with at Warner Bros. through the years.”
Cavallo said, “It is truly an honor to be named Chairman of a company that I’ve grown up in, that has played such an important role in shaping my career and embodies what it means to be an artist-oriented organization. The team at Warner Bros. has never lost sight of its core mission of serving artists and supporting the creative process. I’m so incredibly proud to have the opportunity to continue the legacy of the many great leaders of this company, from Mo Ostin to Tom Whalley, who exemplify this artist-centric mission in every aspect of their work. With Todd and Livia, and all of the great executives at the company, I’m confident that we can further enhance Warner Bros.’ position as the preeminent home for artists, not just with respect to their work in the recording studio, but in all facets of their careers.”
Moscowitz said, “Warner Bros. is one of the most respected brands in music, and with that comes a profound responsibility to insure that this company continues to be progressive and innovative in its approach to artist development, and treats its artists as true partners. There’s a great entrepreneurial spirit which lies at the foundation of this company, one that is more critical in today’s industry environment than ever before. I look forward to enhancing that sense of entrepreneurship and to creating the most effective platform possible to translate Rob’s creative vision into global artist successes. I want to thank Tom for his leadership and for helping to make Warner Bros. the remarkable organization that it is today.”
Tortella said, “Working at Warner Bros., with its legendary artist roster and its talented employees, is truly a dream come true for me. The Warner Bros. logo stands for the finest music, regardless of genre, and most importantly for a commitment to building artist careers. By supporting Rob’s amazing skills as one of our industry’s most consistent discoverers and nurturers of talent, I’m confident we can achieve new levels of growth by continuing to focus on long-term artist development. I can’t think of a better, more passionate, talented and hardworking group of people to carry out that mission than the team at Warner Bros. Records.”
One of the top-selling producers in the world, Cavallo has produced or had creative involvement in albums that have sold more than 125 million units over the past 16 years, nearly 30 million of those units in the last five years alone. In 1998, Cavallo was awarded the “Producer of the Year” Grammy and was nominated for the same award in 1999 and 2004. Cavallo has also won Grammys for his producing work with Green Day, including “Best Rock Album” for American Idiot in 2004 and, in 2005, “Record of the Year” for Boulevard of Broken Dreams. His work has amassed six Grammy awards, an Oscar, a Golden Globe and numerous nominations.
Cavallo first joined Warner Bros. Records in 1987 as an A&R representative where he was originally assigned to work with Black Sabbath. In 1989, he signed the multi-Platinum band, Goo Goo Dolls, to Warner Bros./Reprise Records and, in 1993, signed Green Day to the label. He produced Green Day’s major label debut, Dookie, his second-ever full album production, which sold 15 million units worldwide. Since then, he’s produced or executive produced six of the band’s albums which have now sold more than 45 million worldwide units combined. In 1994, he was promoted to Senior Vice President of A&R for Warner Bros./Reprise, where he oversaw the label’s A&R department and served as an in-house producer.
In 1997, Cavallo was an instrumental force in reuniting the members of Fleetwood Mac at Warner Bros. for the band’s reunion album, DVD video and TV special, The Dance, which combined have sold more than six million units, and was a producer on the band’s following album Say You Will. In 1998, Cavallo joined Hollywood Records as senior vice-president of A&R, where he signed, developed and produced a number of artists including a Gold-certified album from BBMak. That same year Cavallo produced two No. 1 singles for Warner Bros. on the City of Angels soundtrack, Alanis Morissette’s, “Uninvited,” which went on to win two Grammy Awards, and Goo Goo Dolls’, “Iris,” which was nominated for three Grammys. The soundtrack has sold more than eight million album units worldwide, the second-best-selling soundtrack in WMG history.
In 1999, Cavallo worked with Phil Collins on the Disney feature animated movie, Tarzan. The lead single, “You’ll Be in My Heart,” won an Oscar, a Grammy and a Golden Globe award for best original song from a motion picture. The song stayed at No. 1 for 19 weeks on the Billboard Hot AC chart. This was Collins’ longest running hit at that format.
In 2002, Cavallo returned to Warner Bros. Records where he produced Green Day’s American Idiot, as well as Green Day’s DVD/CD set, Bullet in a Bible, which features a live performance of the band. These two titles have now sold in excess of 15 million units worldwide. In addition, Cavallo has worked on recordings for Eric Clapton, David Cook, Chris Isaak, Jewel, My Chemical Romance, The Dave Mathews Band, Kid Rock, Less Than Jake, Avril Lavigne, Shinedown and Sixpence None The Richer. In 2009, Cavallo was appointed to the position of Chief Creative Officer for WMG.
Moscowitz joined Warner Bros. Records as Executive Vice President in 2009 where he has overseen the expansion of the label’s urban roster while continuing to run WMG’s Asylum Records and Independent Label Group. Named President of the newly re-launched Asylum Records in 2004, Moscowitz pioneered innovative new business models that quickly established the label as the premier destination for independent entrepreneurs looking to release their music worldwide.
Moscowitz was integral in transforming hip-hop artists Mike Jones, Paul Wall, Bun B, D4L, New Boyz and Webbie into gold and platinum-selling superstars. Prior to joining WMG, Moscowitz was GM of Def Jam Records, head of Rush Communications, and was a partner at Violator Management where he helped guide the careers of 50 Cent and Missy Elliott, among others.
Tortella began her career in 1989 at PolyGram Canada in A&R, and then continued as a product manager for artists on numerous labels including Island, Def Jam, Mercury, London and Beggars Banquet Music Group. After spending five years at Island Def Jam Music Group, she joined Atlantic Records in 2004, where in addition to focusing on artist development, she led business and digital product development. As a member of Atlantic’s senior management team, she played a key role in Atlantic’s achieving the No. 1 market share position in the U.S. in calendar years 2008 and 2009, as well as in Atlantic’s being cited by the New York Times in 2008 as the first major label to achieve digital revenue in excess of 50% of its U.S. physical and digital sales revenue.
In the past 10 years, Tortella has helped develop the careers of numerous artists including Paramore, Death Cab For Cutie, Rob Thomas, Kid Rock, Shinedown, 3OH!3 and The Zac Brown Band. She has facilitated the launch of several label ventures, including Fueled By Ramen, Photofinish and Chop Shop Records, which released the best-selling Twilight soundtrack franchise for which Tortella served as executive producer.