LONDON, 2 APRIL 2008 — EMI Music has appointed Google’s chief information officer and one of its most senior global executives, Douglas Merrill, to lead its growing digital music business.
As President, Digital Business, EMI Music, Merrill will head a new global function which brings together for the first time leadership responsibility for all of the company’s digital strategy, innovation, business development, supply chain and global technology activities.
Guy Hands, chief executive officer of Terra Firma and chairman of EMI Group, said: “Douglas is a proven agent of change who combines broad business intellect with a deep engineering background. 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. His experience, talents and his ability to drive innovation will be enormously valuable to EMI and to its artists.”
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.”
Merrill starts work at EMI on 28 April and will be based at EMI Music’s Los Angeles headquarters in the Capitol Tower. He will report to Guy Hands.
Douglas Merrill joined Google late in 2003. During his five years with the company, he rose to become chief information officer and vice president of engineering, responsible for all billing and revenue technology and processes for Google worldwide, together with internal engineering and support worldwide.
He has led multiple strategic efforts including Google’s 2004 IPO and its related investor programme and regulatory activities. He was also responsible for the 2006 launch of Google Checkout, which is now a multi-billion dollar business. In 2007 he was tasked with leading the turnaround of Google’s radio advertising business which he put back on a growth trajectory. Most recently, he was asked by Google CEO, Eric Schmidt, to drive Google’s strategy and business development activity in the Middle East and sub-Saharan Africa, the two fastest growing broadband populations in the world.
Previously, Douglas was a senior vice president at Charles Schwab and Co, one of America’s largest financial services providers. At Schwab, he was responsible for such functions as information security, common infrastructure, and human resources strategy and operations. Prior to his tenure there, Douglas worked at Price Waterhouse in security implementation practices. Before that, he was an information scientist at the RAND Corporation, where he studied topics such as computer simulation in education, team dynamics and organisational effectiveness.
Douglas holds a BA from the University of Tulsa in Social and Political Organisation, and an MA and Ph.D. in Psychology from Princeton University.