Page last updated at 06:21 GMT, Thursday, 3 April 2008 07:21 UK

Google executive poached by EMI

Kylie Minogue accepts a Brit award
EMI is keen to get more value from music downloads

Record label EMI has appointed a senior executive from Google to run its digital strategy, the first time such a post has been created at the firm.

Douglas Merrill, who led Google's successful stock market listing in 2004, will take up his post on 28 April at EMI's Los Angeles office.

The move is part of EMI's private equity owner Guy Hands efforts to rebuild the troubled firm.

He bought EMI, whose artists include Kylie Minogue, for 3.2bn last year.

Mr Hands welcomed the new recruit, calling him a "proven agent of change".

"He has been a key member of the management team at Google which has created more value than any other consumer internet company by focusing relentlessly on tools that enable consumers to do things more effectively," he said.

Mr Merrill said: "I have two passions. One is creating platforms and tools that make it easier for consumers to achieve their goals. The other is music.

"This exciting new role at EMI is a unique opportunity for me to be able to put those two passions to work together and help deliver EMI's objective of providing the best services in the world to consumers and musicians."

The plan to beef up the British label's online operations comes as part of major restructuring efforts, which will see up to 2,000 jobs cut to reduce costs by about 200m a year.

These cost-cutting plans have not been taken well by some of the company's artists who are concerned that EMI will try to take more of their revenue from merchandising and concerts, while cutting the marketing budget

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