Island executive Eric Wong is leaving Universal Music to join rival Warner Music in the newly created role of president and chief marketing officer of Warner Recorded Music. Wong begins the NYC-based job Aug. 17, reporting to Max Lousada, WMG’s global CEO of recorded music.
At WMG, Wong will lead the label group’s worldwide marketing team with an eye on boosting the careers of both global and domestic artists, while driving strategies and overseeing international A&R functions. He’ll have a large canvass to work with as WMG has operations in 70-plus countries, including new offices in Turkey, Vietnam and the highly prized market of India. The company also recently announced its investment in Africori, the largest music distributor in sub-Saharan Africa.
This won’t be Wong’s first rodeo at WMG. Though he began his music industry career at Island Def Jam in 1999, he moved to Warner in 2006 as svp, marketing at Atlantic Records as well as CMO of Bad Boy Entertainment (the Diddy-founded label that has since moved to Sony Music). He moved back to IDJ in 2011 as evp of marketing, working closely on projects for Kanye West, Rihanna and others, before being named evp/general manager of Island in 2014 and COO four years later.
“If you want to propel the global conversation around artists, you need to be able to cut through the noise with the intensity, fluidity, and creativity needed to produce superstars,” said Lousada. “I’ve known Eric since he was with Atlantic over a decade ago. He’s a bold, inventive marketer with a true fan’s sensibility, and he’s been behind a string of disruptive campaigns that have launched global careers. He’ll have a worldwide remit to drive our one-company philosophy as we grow our artist development capabilities and expand our ability to make great talent impossible to ignore.”
Wong added, “Max and his team have a visionary view of how artist development should work in the streaming age. The Warner global roster, from local talent to international superstars, is incredible, and I’m excited to work with everyone in the U.S., UK, and around the world to create the most inventive, impactful campaigns to break and sustain artists’ careers.”