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Former Google Exec Resigns From EMI

Douglas Merill, the former CIO of search Giant Google, has stepped down from his post as the president of digital and COO of EMI's New Music unit, just one year after he joined the company.

The struggling recording company has also announced the promotion of Cory Ondrejka to the newly-created position of executive vice president, digital marketing; Ondrejka is a former Second Life executive, which might provide a clue as to where EMI wants to head.

EMI has little choice but to follow the money and with digital music sales now accounting for nearly a quarter of EMI Music's revenue, the company has chosen to refocus on its core.

Merill's stand alone digital unit has in effect been re-integrated in EMI's business operations. Although Merill did not have any experience in the music industry, it was though that his expertise at Google would help EMI's fortunes.

The departure of the former senior Googler comes a few days after the chief executive of EMI's parent company Terra Firma quit from his day-to-day job, which some might say, was the beginning of the end for Merill's tenure at EMI.

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Our Comments

When Guy Hands purchased EMI, the company was already in deep trouble and the fact that Terra Firma had to write off half of its £2.4 billion investment in EMI looks like some desperate measures are being applied to save the company. The music industry is not doing great from any perspective. The demise of Zavvi and Woolworths combined with the failures of Spiralfrog means that the sector is desperately short on ideas.

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Désiré Athow
Désiré Athow

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.