John Furrier got most of this one right: Google VP of Engineering Douglas Merrill is leaving Mountain View for…somewhere in California, where he’ll be EMI Music’s new president of digital. We assume that means Douglas is going to LA, where EMI still owns the iconic Capitol building, but our source wasn’t clear. We also assume Lauren Berkowitz, who is EMI’s SVP of digital, will report to Douglas.
Anyway, it’s an interesting move for a couple reasons:
- A big brain at Google thinks there’s an opportunity to do interesting stuff in the music business — and to do it at one of the four giant music labels that still control the industry (for now).
- Unless we’re missing something, Douglas has zero experience in entertainment or music. Which is in keeping with newish EMI boss Guy Hands’ plan to staff his company with outsiders.
In the past, EMI has chewed and spit out a cadre of digital execs. But that was under the old regime, so all bets are off now.
(Pointless inside baseball: John would like us to note that he got this story before Mike Arrington did, yet John isn’t getting a TechCrunch link out of it. But John: The “EMI trying to kill all blog coverage” theory you’re floating? Time to drop that.)
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