Morris Named Head of MCA’s Domestic Music Unit
UNIVERSAL CITY, Calif. (AP) _ The head of MCA Inc.’s music division quit Thursday in a management dispute and was replaced by Doug Morris, who was fired five months ago as head of Time Warner’s domestic music unit.
Al Teller, who recruited Morris to MCA Music Entertainment Group, resigned ``due to philosophical differences with new management,″ MCA said in a statement. A company spokeswoman declined to elaborate.
Morris was appointed chairman and chief executive of the music business to replace Teller.
The development came on the same day Michael Fuchs was forced out as head of MCA rival Time Warner Inc.’s music and HBO pay television businesses in a management shakeup designed to help the company operate more effectively.
Morris had joined with MCA to form a new record company shortly after being fired from Warner. Morris and MCA each own 50 percent of the New York City-based venture, Rising Tide Entertainment.
A veteran music industry executive, Morris is credited with helping rebuild Atlantic Records in the early 1990s. Time Warner later bought the label.
Morris was fired from his post as chief executive of Warner Music U.S. on June 21. At the time, Time Warner was under heavy criticism for its stake in gangsta rap label Interscope Records, an investment Morris championed.
Fuchs, who was chairman of the Warner Music Group, said the dismissal had nothing to do with that controversy but followed a year of infighting among top executives.
However, after Morris filed a $50 million breach of contract suit, Warner filed court papers saying he was dismissed for failing to let executives know about a compact disc kickback scheme involving Atlantic employees. Morris’ attorney denied the accusation.
At MCA, Morris will continue the work of Teller, who helped acquire Geffen Records and expand international operations to 23 companies.
``Under Doug Morris’s leadership, we will continue to build on that foundation and focus even more aggressively on developing talent across all areas of our music business,″ said Ron Meyer, MCA Inc. president and CEO, in the statement.
``The past seven years have been incredibly gratifying both personally and professionally, as we developed MCA Music into a global business. I am happy that I leave all of the labels and operating divisions in capable hands and thank everyone for their support,″ Teller said in the statement.
MCA owns MCA Records and Geffen Records, among others, and recently agreed to distribute records for the new DreamWorks SKG label. Its roster of artists include Counting Crows, Vince Gill, Wynona Judd, Reba McEntire and Gladys Knight.
The Seagram Co. Ltd., which is also a major shareholder in Time Warner, acquired an 80 percent stake in MCA earlier this year.