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Warner Bros. CEO Tom Whalley Steps Down

Green Day producer Rob Cavallo takes over as chairman, hip-hop division's Todd Moscowitz as CEO

September 14, 2010 6:23 PM ET

Tom Whalley, the CEO/Chairman of Warner Bros. Records for nearly a decade, stepped down from the position today, announcing his departure in an email Obtained by the Hollywood Reporter . Whalley gave no reason for his exit from Warner Bros. Records — where he began, working in the mail room, in 1979 — other than to say "the time has come for me to leave." According to Billboard.biz , Rob Cavallo, who signed Green Day to Warner Bros. Records and produced the band's albums from Dookie to American Idiot, will take over as chairman. Todd Moscowitz, who leads Warner's hip-hop division, will serve as co-president and CEO.

During his tenure at Warner, Whalley oversaw the continued success of established acts like R.E.M., Metallica, Madonna, Green Day, Neil Young and Tom Petty, and helped launch then-upcoming artists like the White Stripes, the Black Keys, My Chemical Romance, Muse, Gucci Mane and many more.

Read Whalley's goodbye message below:

 

To The Warner Bros. Family: Moving on is never easy, but there always comes a time to do just that.

 

The time has now come for me to leave Warner Bros. Records.

I began my career here in 1979 -- in the mail room -- with a dream that someday I might have the honor to serve as Chairman of this great company. To have had that dream come true for almost a decade has been one of the greatest gifts I've ever received.

During that time, we've been guided by Warner Bros. Records' unique philosophy, one that has helped build our special culture based on the combination of both the most creative executives and most talented artists in the industry. As a result, even with all the profound changes in our business and in WMG, we've managed to keep the emphasis exactly where it should be kept: on the music. We've never been afraid of music that was provocative or challenging, and we've never stopped nurturing our artists and helping them to build lasting careers. It's what this company has been about for 50 years. And always will be.

Because we've continually adapted and redefined what it means to be a modern music company, we've remained one of the best-performing labels in the industry. But, most importantly, we've achieved all we have without ever compromising the art. Or our artists' vision. Warner Bros. has remained true to its tradition and for the last nine years, we've continued to develop the careers of: Bjork, Built to Spill, Michelle Branch, Chris Isaak, Deftones, DEVO, Enya, Eric Clapton, Faith Hill, Flaming Lips, The Goo Goo Dolls, Green Day, k.d. lang, Linkin Park, Madonna, Metallica, Neil Young, Pat Metheny, Randy Newman, Randy Travis, Red Hot Chili Peppers, R.E.M., Seal, Tom Petty and The White Stripes among others.

And established many great new artists including: Against Me!, Avenged Sevenfold, Big & Rich, The Black Keys, Blake Shelton, Damien Rice, Disturbed, HIM, James Otto, Jason Derulo, Josh Groban, Gucci Mane, Mastodon, Michael Bublé, Muse, My Chemical Romance, Never Shout Never, New Boyz, The Raconteurs, Regina Spektor, Rilo Kiley, Robert Randolph, Serj Tankian, Taking Back Sunday, Tegan and Sera, The Used, The Wreckers and many more. The fact that we have three albums in the Top Ten this week is but one indication of the strength of our roster and our strong momentum.

This amazing roster is the result of the efforts of each and every one of you, an incredibly talented group of people who -- day in and day out -- constitute the very heart and soul of this company. An incredibly talented group of people I've been proud to call my colleagues and my friends.

Change is inevitable and more of it is certain to come, but your commitment and your passion will see you through whatever comes your way. Later today we will share with you the news about the new management team. But before then, let me say that I wish them only the best of success. They are going to be leading the greatest team in the business.

I want to sincerely thank Lyor and Edgar for their leadership and their willingness to support my decision. I also want to thank all of the men and women whom I've had the great privilege to work with here through the years.

Warner Bros. is an incredibly special place, I am so proud of you and the work we've done together.

With my appreciation.
Tom

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