I am delighted to announce that Kei Ishizaka has been promoted from President and CEO of Universal Music K.K. to Chairman and CEO, with immediate effect.

In addition, Kei has signed a new, long-term contract with the company. He will continue to report to me.

Universal Music K.K. is among UMGI’s most successful operating companies worldwide, and Kei has been President since joining from Toshiba-EMI in 1994. He has overseen tremendous success this year with both established stars and new artists, and has succeeded in modernising the company, particularly its domestic A&R structure.

Consistently ranked among Japan’s top three record companies, Universal Music K.K. has increased its market share for the first seven months of the year by 1.5 percentage points, from 12.7% to 14.2%.

The company’s success is largely due to top-selling 2006 releases by Spitz, Dreams Come True, Masaharu Fukuyama, Hideaki Tokunaga, TOKIO and AI, and to new-artist breakthroughs, including WaT and mihimaru GT.

Please join me in congratulating Kei on his promotion, and on the achievements of Universal Music K.K. I am confident that he will lead his team to even greater success in the future.

Max Hole
President, Asia Pacific Region