*The drumbeat is getting louder that Sylvia Rhone will exit Universal Motown either today or within the next few days, depending on which source you listen to, according to Billboard writer Ed Christman.
But does that departure mean the end of her days at the Universal Music Group, as some sources insist – or, as other insiders argue, is she still considering a new role to head up a to-be-created, multi-rights company for UMG that would include a label, publishing, merchandising, management and touring?
Since Barry Weiss came to UMG as chairman/CEO of Island Def Jam and Universal Motown Republic Group, it’s been expected that Rhone’s role at Universal Motown would be coming to an end. But Weiss and UMG CEO Lucian Grainge have been trying to keep her in the UMG fold.
Consequently, they have been negotiating with Rhone, who is believed to have a year left on her contract, to build a new company that would serve as a multi-purpose firm for UMG.
Some insiders maintain that even though Rhone is almost out the door, talks are continuing about her taking on the new UMG role as head of the to-be-created company. But other sources familiar with the situation say that she is passing up that opportunity, and calling it a day at UMG.
Meanwhile, elsewhere in the company, sources say Geffen Chairman Ron Fair has finally left the company to work with “American Idol” fulltime, as Billboard.biz speculated in January. While he has been involved there, sources are unclear whether he has a signed deal at this point.
In other executive moves at UMG, sources say that the Island Def Jam Music Group senior vp of Finance Joe Borrino will leave to join Jay-Z’s Roc Nation; and Universal Music Group Digital Distribution Executive VP/GM Amanda Marks will move over to work for Rob Wells, president of UMG’s Global Digital Business.