Parlophone Records chairman Miles Leonard has announced that he is to step down from running the label at the start next year.
News Leonard's departure first surfaced two weeks ago, but has only now been confirmed by Warner UK, which acquired the historic British label from EMI in 2013.
Leonard first joined Parlophone's A&R team in 1995 and was appointed Chairman in 2013. During his 23 years with the label, he has played a key role in nurturing the careers countless UK stars, including Coldplay, Gorillaz, Tinie Tempah, Royal Blood, Blur, Kylie, Paul Weller and Lily Allen.
“Working at Parlophone has been the adventure a lifetime,” said Leonard, who will continue to work for the label in an advisory A&R role until late next year and maintain an ongoing relationship with Warner Music thereafter, working on key artists and projects.
“It's been a privilege to be the custodian a label that occupies such a unique place in popular culture and to have worked with so many unique and inspiring artists, managers and teams,” stated Leonard.
He went on to call his decision to step down from running the label a “difficult” one, but said “now really is the right time for me to give up my day-to-day responsibilities so I can focus solely on the music and artists I love.”
“Miles is the definition music man,” praised Max Lousada, CEO Recorded Music, WMG & Chairman and CEO, Warner Music UK.
“Under his guidance Parlophone has discovered and championed seminal artists who've released important, much-loved music and been wildly successful doing it,” he went on to say, adding, “I'm excited for how his relationship with Warner will evolve and grateful for his extraordinary contribution to music over the past two decades.”
In line with confirmation that Leonard was stepping down, Atlantic Records UK general manager Mark Mitchell has been named as co-president Parlophone Records, reporting to Lousada.
Having joined Atlantic in 2009 as a senior marketing manager and held the post general manager since 2012, Mitchell has helped make the imprint one Warner U.K.'s most successful front-line labels, working on campaigns for Ed Sheeran, Anne-Marie, Plan B, Bruno Mars, Clean Bandit, Jess Glynne, James Blunt and Rudimental, among others.
He takes up the post Parlophone co-president on Jan 1, with his responsibilities including overseeing all marketing, press, digital, design and promo functions, as well as driving the label's overall strategy.
“Stepping down is both easy and exciting when passing Parlophone on to a leader his calibre,” said Leonard, paying tribute to his successor.
“I couldn't be happier that Mitch is taking on this role,” added Lousada, calling the appointment “a fantastic new chapter for Parlophone.”
“It's an honour to work for such a prestigious label that's considered a bastion British cultural influence,” said Mitchell, who will continue in the role Atlantic U.K. general manager until the end the year. “Parlophone has never been scared to embrace distinctive and disruptive talent,” he noted. “That's a tradition that I'm looking forward to continuing.”
Warner is yet to announce who will be joining Mitchell in running Parlophone. Rumoured names for the other post co-president include Virgin EMI's SVP A&R Nick Burgess.