Earlier this month Sony Music took smaller rival EMI — and its exec Ron Werre — to court after Werre broke a last-minute/$3 million deal to join Sony as President of the Commercial Music Group.
It appears as if Werre was doing some shady double-dealing and only used the threat of moving to Sony to secure a big-time promotion and pay raise back at EMI.
It worked — and Werre went from mere President of Music Services to COO at EMI.
According to Sony — Werre never had any intention of moving companies and was playing both music giants all along. Indeed, EMI was so keen to retain Werre that its big-wigs directly contacted Sony Music Chief Executive Officer Rolf Schmidt-Holtz to scrap Werre’s new contract.
As for the sad sucker Werre was intended to replace, he had already been canned by Sony.
Now, EMI and Werre will face Sony in court — at a time when EMI is in serious financial dire straits.
But meanwhile, we can report, Sony itself is shifting into proactive mode and will now award the coveted President of the Commercial Music Group title to Richard Story, who is currently chief operating officer of Sony Music Continental Europe.
The move places Story — currently based in London but soon shifting to NYC — in a far more global position while suggest to Werre that he better be secure in new EMI glory.
We’ll see both sides in court.