Universal Music Needs a New CEO

It’s a little off-topic for this site but I couldn’t let Doug Morris’s interview with Wired go by without comment. Mr. Morris is the “chair and CEO” of Universal Music Group. This quote brought forth uncontrollable laughter:

“If you had Coca-Cola coming through the faucet in your kitchen, how much would you be willing to pay for Coca-Cola? There you go,” he says. “That’s what happened to the record business.”

Mr. Morris, what does come out of faucets is water. Which is a $15 Billion business (and growing) in the U.S. And, by the way, Coca-Cola is #2 in the water business with 11% of the market. Oh yea, and the water they sell is purified tap water – the free stuff from the faucet. The number 1 water seller (Pepsi) also sells purified tap water. So almost a quarter of the water sold is tap water. Perhaps Mr. Morris can learn a thing or two from the water business.

But another quote seems to indicate Mr. Morris knows he’s not capable of doing his job:

“We didn’t know who to hire,” he says, becoming more agitated. “I wouldn’t be able to recognize a good technology person — anyone with a good bullshit story would have gotten past me.” Morris’ almost willful cluelessness is telling. “He wasn’t prepared for a business that was going to be so totally disrupted by technology,” says a longtime industry insider who has worked with Morris. “He just doesn’t have that kind of mind.”

If I was on the board of directors I’d be looking for a new CEO. If I was a stockholder I’d sell. But I’m neither, so I laugh.

One thought on “Universal Music Needs a New CEO”

  1. To be honest, I thought it was a very candid and forthright memoir from a man that was trying to represent the interests of a legacy business in a modernizing world. I am not apologizing for some of the techniques of the RIAA, but picking apart his interview, and mocking him is wholly unnecessary and makes you seem childish.

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