Max Lousada Named CEO, Recorded Music For Warner Music Group
Max Lousada has been named CEO, Recorded Music for Warner Music Group (WMG), effective October 1, 2017. With this promotion, Lousada will oversee all of WMG’s global Recorded Music operations, including Atlantic, Warner Bros., Parlophone, Warner Music Nashville, Global Catalog/Rhino and Warner Classics, as well as WMG's international Recorded Music affiliates and WMG’s Artist & Label Services divisions, WEA and ADA.
Lousada is currently Chairman & CEO of Warner Music UK (WMUK), home to a host of British superstars, including Ed Sheeran, Coldplay,Muse, Blur, Gorillaz, Liam Gallagher, Rita Ora, Tinie Tempah, Jess Glynne, Clean Bandit, Iron Maiden, Pink Floyd, Kate Bush and Paul Weller.
Reporting to WMG CEO Steve Cooper, Lousada will divide his time between London and New York, and will continue to lead Warner Music UK alongside his new worldwide responsibilities.
Steve Cooper said: “With WMG breaking more superstars and leading the industry's transition to streaming, this is the perfect time to appoint a proven leader to turbocharge the success of our Recorded Music division. Max's wide-ranging achievements make him the natural choice. Since taking over the helm of Warner Music UK, he has continued to build his reputation for identifying and developing world-class artistic and executive talent. At the same time, he's transformed our UK operation, with an inspired vision of a truly progressive music company in the 21st century. He's the consummate music man, always exploring what we can do differently to benefit our artists, their fans, our people and our partners. I’m looking forward to working with Max as he leads our outstanding Recorded Music management team."
Len Blavatnik, Founder & Chairman of Access Industries, said: “Max has developed Warner Music UK into the premier home for British artists and a center of music innovation. WMG’s artists and our global Recorded Music operations will greatly benefit from his creative thinking and artist development expertise.”
Max Lousada said: “I came to Warner because it’s always been such a fantastic melting pot of independent spirits uniting to champion artists that change culture and make music that matters. Fourteen years later, that ethos is as strong as ever, so I’m delighted to have the opportunity to build on those foundations with my extremely gifted partners around the world. Together, we’ll continue to create an environment where talent has the support and the freedom to flourish, where we empower our artists and our people to be true pioneers, and where we inspire audiences to be as excited about music as we are. I would like to thank Len and Steve for their tremendous support.”
During his three years as CEO of Warner Music UK, Lousada and his team have consistently grown market share, broken chart records, and released music that has achieved global success. Recent highlights include Ed Sheeran, who has smashed records around the world with the release of ÷ (Divide), while his single “Shape of You” is the longest running No.1 for a British artist since the early ‘90s; Coldplay, who were named the biggest band in the world by the IFPI following the release of A Head Full of Dreams; Clean Bandit, whose single “Rockabye" was at No.1 for nine weeks, and Jess Glynne, whose debut album was among the top ten best-sellers for two consecutive years.
Since 2013, Lousada has expanded Warner Music UK’s repertoire centers to serve a broader range of artists, playing an instrumental role in the integration of Parlophone into WMUK, as well as reviving the East West Records imprint and launching dance music imprints within each of the UK’s front line labels. In addition, he has strengthened the company’s creative capabilities with the launch of The Firepit, a video content division, innovation lab and state-of-the-art recording studio.
Lousada began his music industry career straight out of college, founding his own distribution company, In A Silent Way. In 2000, he became the European Managing Director for the influential New York-based hip-hop label Rawkus Records, where he worked with artists such as Mos Def, Black Star, Talib Kweli and Pharoahe Monch. In 2002, he joined Mushroom Records as Head of A&R, signing ambient dance act Zero 7 and overseeing releases from acts such as Muse, Ash, Garbage and DJ Paul Oakenfold.
Following Warner Music UK's acquisition of Mushroom Records in 2003, Lousada became Head of A&R at Atlantic UK, rising to President, before being named Chairman in 2009. During his decade at Atlantic, he built an award-winning team and a roster of hugely popular and influential UK artists, including Ed Sheeran, Paolo Nutini, James Blunt, Rudimental, Plan B, Marina and the Diamonds, Lykke Li, Damien Rice and Birdy.
From 2014 to 2016, Lousada served as Chairman of the BRITs Committee, responsible for the creative direction of the UK’s most prestigious awards event.