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After EMI hired paisley-shirted IT exec Douglas Merrill away from Google to run the record label's digital business, other music groups have been on the hunt for a digital savior. Sony BMG, we hear, has been trying to fill an EVP position to run its digital music ventures. But after dangling a $700,000 salary in front of prospects for 8 months, its search firm, Korn/Ferry, still hasn't been able to fill the job. What this tells us: No one wants the job. One requirement: The candidate must "have a keen eye to find money on opportunities at hand." That graspingness is precisely why the record labels are so unpopular with musicians, their fans, and the the technologists creating the online tools through which people are increasingly stealing — sorry, "discovering" — music. The industry's in such a pathetic state, we thought we'd help Sony BMG and Korn/Ferry by airing the confidential job listing:

COMPANY SonyBMG Music Entertainment POSITION Executive Vice President, Global Digital Business LOCATION New York, New York COMPANY BACKGROUND SonyBMG Music Entertainment is a global recorded music joint venture with a roster of current artists that includes a broad array of both local artists and international superstars, as well as vast catalog that comprises some of the most important recordings in history. The company is 50 percent owned by Bertelsmann A.G. and 50 percent owned by Sony Corporation of America. SonyBMG Music Entertainment continues to aggressively move its business from the traditional sale of product through traditional retail channels of distribution to new and evolving digital platforms. REPORTING RELATIONSHIPS The Executive Vice President, Global Digital Business will report to the President, Global Digital Business and US Sales. RESPONSIBILITIES The Executive Vice President, Global Digital Business will be responsible for the US business development team. He/She will oversee global deal terms (in coordination with Business and Legal Affairs); industry-wide projects, such as Total Music (a joint venture with another major record company), and build the company’s investments in independent companies, such as SonyBMG’s Music’s stake in DADA, MOG and others. Specific duties and responsibilities will include the following:

  • Identify opportunities, structure, negotiate and close deals;
  • Develop and coordinate SONY BMG’s business model across multiple existing and new product and licensing opportunities around the world – formulate strategies about how alternative exploitation models and product windows affect each other; drive product/ business model innovation;
  • Develop specific business opportunities/partnerships which can be implemented in the near term; creatively help existing partnerships evolve through the challenges and changes in product and usage right configurations;
  • Submit sound and achievable budget projections and recommendations; ensure that the Company is managed with strong financial accountability and integrity;
  • Create and manage deals that are going to make an impact on a global basis;
  • Monitor and evaluate digital business operations outside the US on a consistent basis to ensure plans and objectives are met, expected results are achieved and digital deal guidelines and policies are observed;
  • Prepare and distribute information up, down and across the organization to ensure effective communications and information flow and to enable informed decision-making;
  • Recruit and train an exceptional team in accordance with the budget and strategy;
  • Bring significant experience in developing and understanding businesses and will have a strong grasp of the overall internet and mobile landscape.

PROFESSIONAL QUALIFICATIONS Prospective candidates will be seasoned “business development” oriented executive who does not necessarily come from the music business, but could. He/She will more likely be an executive from the more broad-based entertainment and media field, but with an appreciation for the unique characteristics of the music industry. The successful candidate should be a strong negotiator with an acute sense of strategy and strong business acumen. He/she should be a strong “closer” in terms of getting deals done and take a pragmatic approach of what can be done. Specifically candidates will have the following:

  • Outstanding negotiation skills;
  • Ability to develop and continually refine a vision and to identify strategies, tactics, and the resources required to achieve that vision;
  • Strong leadership and management skills which include a hands-on style and the ability to build alliances;
  • Solid experience in business and relationship development on a global basis; the ability to forge new relationships in the broad-based entertainment and media sector;
  • Strong verbal and written communication skills with the ability to enhance the organization’s culture;
  • Highly capable of independently handling complex negotiation situations. Strong “closer” in terms of getting deals done and take a pragmatic approach of what can be done.
  • Demonstrated “change management” experience.

PERSONAL CHARACTERISTICS AND COMPETENCIES Prospective candidates will be passionate, business development oriented executives who can articulate both the vision and market position in a clear and compelling way. Strong leadership characteristics are a must. He/She needs to be able to quickly grasp financial models and capable of rapidly and thoughtfully drawing conclusions about the viability of different alternative business models. With excellent judgment of people and the strategic opportunities, the candidate will have built and crafted an organization to achieve significant revenue goals while focusing on the efficient and effective operation of the business. The ideal candidate must be a focused, proactive and collaborative leader, who can refine and extend the Company’s vision.

  • Be a strong contributor to the overall strategy in further developing the music business model.
  • Be mindful of the longer implications of changing the company’s business models but also strongly focused on optimizing the short term.
  • Have a keen eye to find money on opportunities at hand.
  • Be an intelligent, decisive, quick, forward-thinking, strategic and tactical executive; bring exceptional business acumen, common sense, wisdom and insight;
  • Have the proven ability to work across an organization at all levels with technical, creative and executive team members; have excellent diplomatic and political skills to build collaborative working relationships across a wide array of constituents.
  • Have strong interpersonal skills, good judge of character and great at building lasting and productive relationships.
  • Be a strong motivator for the business development team and have a high energy level to drive things forward.
  • Be realistic and not over-promise, yet drive, communicate and believe in a bigger vision. Most importantly, the successful candidate will have an unquestioned level of personal and professional integrity, as well as an intuitive understanding of and unbridled enthusiasm for the challenges and rewards arising from this unique opportunity.

EDUCATION Prospective candidates will have an undergraduate degree. An MBA is highly desirable but not required. Experience in the professional culture of a major consulting firm or investment bank would be a plus though again is not required. COMPENSATION Compensation will be competitive and commensurate with experience. A customized package, including base salary and incentive bonus will be developed to attract the finalist candidate.

(Photo by pgoyette)