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Head of MCA Records Quits As Sales Drop

The president of Vivendi Universal’s MCA Records has resigned, becoming the latest casualty of the slumping music industry.

Jay Boberg, 44, told MCA employees Thursday that he was stepping down from the post he has held since 1995. He said in a memo to label executives that he leaves a roster of acts that is “an artistic and musical gold mine.”

A spokeswoman said Boberg wasn’t available to elaborate.

Boberg joined artist manager Miles Copeland in 1979 to found pioneering I.R.S. Records, which was later sold to EMI for an estimated $20 million.

He was tapped to head MCA’s publishing arm in 1994 and was promoted to president a year later. MCA was struggling, but Boberg revived the label by bringing aboard such acts as Sublime, Blink 182 and New Radicals.

Last year, however, MCA missed its financial projections as the music industry suffered from lagging sales. Operating profit for Vivendi’s music unit dropped 51 percent to $172 million for the nine months ended Sept. 30.

Jimmy Iovine, who runs the Interscope Geffen A&M division, will oversee the direction of MCA. But Universal Music Group chairman Doug Morris denied speculation that MCA would be absorbed by the larger division.

 
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