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Warner Music Chief Digital Officer Oana Ruxandra Announces She’s Leaving Label

today10/04/2023

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The Warner Music Group’s chief digital officer Oana Ruxandra is leaving the label, according to company emails obtained by Billboard

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The top-level exec, who also held the title of executive vp of business development, led the major label group’s digital strategy since her promotion to her current role in April 2020. She first joined WMG in December 2018, when she was hired as executive vp of new business channels / chief acquisitions officer, then a newly-created role at Warner under then-CEO Stephen Cooper. Her next move is currently unknown; in an internal memo to staff, Ruxandra implied that current Warner Music CEO Robert Kyncl had a replacement lined up already.

During Ruxandra’s tenure, she led Warner’s push into the gaming and web3 arenas, including investments in Roblox and Overwolf, partnerships with Snap and NFT platforms OneOf and Blockparty, and negotiated deals with Twitch, Peloton, TikTok, Meta, avatar company Genesis and Spotify’s podcast division, among several others. She has often been credited with positioning the company to take advantage of technological innovations for the future, something that has become increasingly important as the industry begins to grapple with the effects of AI.

“Oana’s been a key player in — and fierce advocate for — the evolution of both this company and the industry at large,” Kyncl wrote in an internal memo obtained by Billboard. “She has not only helped us vault many challenges, but drive streaming revenue, while exploring and developing new paths and platforms that will maximize value for our talent, our team, and our company.”

Prior to returning in 2018, Ruxandra spent four years at WMG in the early 2010s, rising to vp of digital strategy and business development, before moving to Universal Music Group as senior vp of digital strategy and partnerships in 2016. Before her time in the record label business, she spent several years working in finance at Constellation Capital Management and BlackRock.

“I leave WMG knowing it’s well positioned for a bold, bright future: Not least with our core streaming partners and evolving social media platforms and fitness players; we’ve also been the first to forge innovative partnerships with a wide, diverse, and thriving network of gaming, Web3, and AI companies,” Ruxandra wrote in an internal memo obtained by Billboard. “At the same time, we’ve acquired and created new businesses for WMG, including Interval Presents, our podcasting unit, and IMGN, our social media publisher. … The last decade has been a wonderful wild ride; we’re once again at the heart of seismic shifts and massive opportunities. I wholeheartedly believe that the future of our industry lies in the dynamic relationship between artist and fan, and the incredible explosion in creative and commercial possibilities created by that interplay.”

Read Ruxandra’s full note below.

Hi everyone, 

I wanted to let you know that I’ll be leaving WMG. Robert and I have been discussing my role for a while now, and I’ve decided it’s time for a change, one where I explore even further my entrepreneurial spirit. Look out for an announcement about my next move. I know Robert has plans for my successor and you’ll be hearing from him about that soon.   

Like so many of you, my primary motivation is always our artists and their music. It’s an incredible honor and responsibility to help grow their careers, expand their revenue streams, and champion their rights. I’ve loved being part of this team, dreaming big and driving change. I’ve spent eight out of the past ten years of my music career here, and I’m very proud of everything we’ve accomplished together.   

I leave WMG knowing it’s well positioned for a bold, bright future: Not least with our core streaming partners and evolving social media platforms and fitness players; we’ve also been the first to forge innovative partnerships with a wide, diverse, and thriving network of gaming, Web3, and AI companies. At the same time, we’ve acquired and created new businesses for WMG, including Interval Presents, our podcasting unit, and IMGN, our social media publisher.  

The last decade has been a wonderful wild ride; we’re once again at the heart of seismic shifts and massive opportunities. I wholeheartedly believe that the future of our industry lies in the dynamic relationship between artist and fan, and the incredible explosion in creative and commercial possibilities created by that interplay.   

Above all, I’m most proud of the extraordinary team we’ve assembled, which has evolved into the absolute best in the business. I want to thank them for their passion, dedication, and above-and-beyond hard work. I’ll be looking forward to seeing what you all accomplish in the future.  

My last day in the office will be next Friday. In the meantime, I want to thank Robert, Steve, Len, and the Board of Directors for the opportunity to help grow WMG. I’ve made many friends here and I’ll see you all soon.

Keep in touch - I’ll be rooting for you,

Oana 

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today10/04/2023


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