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Sean Warner to Lead Universal Music Australia

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BRISBANE, Australia — Universal Music Australia taps Sean Warner for the top job, which will vacated by the incumbent George Ash at year’s end.  

Announced Tuesday (Dec. 13), Warner is promoted to president, Universal Music Australia & New Zealand, with effect from Jan. 1, 2023.

The incoming chief is a UMA stalwart with 15 years’ experience leading the company’s commercial business, both physical and digital.

Warner joined UMA in 2007 as national sales manager and has served on its senior management team in recent years, most recently as senior vice president of commercial, with duties for the commercial growth, innovation and digital development for UMA & New Zealand.

During his time with Universal, Warner has overseen the commercial strategy in Southeast Asia (SEA), launched the Bravado merchandise and licensing interests on both sides of the Tasman, and developed UMA’s eCommerce activities.

Prior to joining the music major, Warner held senior roles with BMG Interactive, Sony PlayStation, DMX Music and Foxtel. Also, he serves as chair of the AMTD fundraising committee for the music industry charity organization Support Act.

“Sean’s deep understanding of the Australian market combined with his operational experience and the respect he has earned from his UMG colleagues and artists—both domestic and international—makes him the ideal executive to take on the role of president,” comments Lucian Grainge, chairman and CEO of UMG.

“I’m confident he will expand our track record of creative and commercial success in a market that so culturally important.”

Warner will succeed UMA’s long-time leader Ash, who, as previously reported, plans to retire from his position at UMA.

Ash, who led the company as president since 2010, marked the end of an era in the Australian music industry when he announced his departure on Monday (Dec. 12).

“The time is right for me to step down from Universal,” Ash explained in a separate statement. “I feel confident that with the brilliant leadership group we have now, the organization will continue to grow and thrive.”

As previously reported, Ash last year initiated an investigation into workplace culture at UMA, and engaged Darren Perry at law firm Seyfarth Shaw to conduct the probe.

“As the region’s leading music company, we will continue to innovate and evolve our businesses,” says Warner in a statement, “and support our artists and labels as they deliver the very best music and culture to fans.”

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