PIERO LA FALCE NAMED PRESIDENT, UNIVERSAL MUSIC ITALY POLYGRAM PRESIDENT STEFANO SENARDI TO LEAVE
MILAN, 8 JANUARY 1999 — Piero La Falce, Universal Music Italy’s founder and president, has been appointed president of the newly combined Universal Music and PolyGram operations in Milan reporting to Jorgen Larsen, Universal Music International’s chairman and CEO.
Stefano Senardi, president of PolyGram Italy, will leave the company.
Larsen said: “Piero has a deep and broad knowledge of the Italian music business and is a great asset to our team. I’m sorry that Stefano is leaving the company which he has led so successfully and I wish him all the best in the future.”
La Falce was appointed president of Milan-based Universal Music Italy when the subsidiary was established in 1994. Since then the company has grown rapidly to achieve a market share of nearly 10 per cent with hit records from artists such as Alex Britti, Aqua, Antonella Ruggiero, No Doubt, Rosana, Wall Flowers, Smash Mouth and, through Sugar Records, Andrea Bocelli and Elisa. From 1978 to 1994 he was president of Sony/CBS Italy during which time he built the company’s domestic roster from scratch to 20 artists and dramatically increased its turnover and market share. He began his career in the music industry in 1968 as assistant to the president of Italian record company Ricordi.
La Falce said: “I’m very excited by this new opportunity. My top priority is people, both artists and employees, as they are the main assets in the entertainment business and the foundations upon which we can build an even more successful future. With Stefano’s help, I look forward to a speedy integration of our two companies and to working with my new colleagues in the unified company.”
Senardi has been president of PolyGram Italy in Milan since 1992. Since then the company has increased its revenues by more than 50 per cent and delivered record sales and operating profits in 1997, and in 1998 which featured an especially strong fourth quarter led by sales from Zucchero and U2. Last year also featured notable success from PolyGram Italy*s classics and jazz division, double digit growth from its music publishing unit and profitability at PolyGram Filmed Entertainment. Before joining PolyGram, Senardi was managing director of Warner Italy label CGD. After beginning his career at CGD in 1979 he worked as an A&R manager there before being appointed head of international at WEA Italy in 1984. He returned to CGD as general manager in 1991.
Senardi said: “I am very proud of what we have achieved at PolyGram in the last few years and regret that I will not be around to participate in the next phase of the company’s development. Nothing would have been possible without the professionalism and commitment of the PolyGram Italia staff and the talents of its fantastic artists. I thank everyone and wish them all the best for the future.”
Universal Music International is a division of the Universal Music Group, a unit of The Seagram Company Ltd, a global entertainment and spirits and wine company.