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EMI will crack down on artists

The new owner of EMI Group PLC has said he will drop artists the music group believes are not working hard enough and will overhaul the company’s own executives’ pay packages, the Financial Times reported Friday.

EMI, which has Coldplay, the Rolling Stones and Kylie Minogue on its roster, also threatened to withdraw stars’ lucrative advances if record sales are disappointing, the FT said, quoting an internal memo to staff from the chief executive of the private equity firm that bought the company in August.

Guy Hands, the CEO of Terra Firma Capital Partners, said the company would in the future be “more selective in whom we choose to work with.”

“While many spend huge amounts of time working with their label to promote, perfect and endorse their music, some unfortunately simply focus on negotiating for the maximum advance … advances which are often never repaid,” Hands said.

The report said the memo did not name any artists. The company, which Terra Firma bought for $4.9 billion, has been plagued in the past by late delivery of albums by some of its biggest acts.

Hands also criticized EMI’s “compensation and management system put in place over the last 20 years which does not encourage the right behaviors or reward the right actions.”

“What worries me is that the existing structures have been put in over a couple of decades and unpicking them in a way that releases the good in the company is not going to happen overnight,” he added.

EMI did not immediately return a call for comment Friday.

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