Elektra Records co-president Mike Easterlin has departed his role at the label but will continue working with Warner Music Group as a consultant for its artist services division, WMX, the executive revealed in an email to staff obtained by Billboard. Gregg Nadel will continue as sole president of the label, which falls under the 300 Elektra Entertainment banner.
“I wanted to thank the amazing people who have been an important part of my career, especially our phenomenal team at Elektra Entertainment,” said Easterlin in the email. “You guys are the best in the business, in every sense. I’m so proud of the artist-focused company and the open, collaborative culture we’ve created together. Working alongside Gregg to re-launch and evolve Elektra over the past five years has been a truly special culmination of my nearly two decades at WMG.”
Easterlin chalked up his exit to “recent changes at the company.” Though he wasn’t specific about those changes, in March, recently crowned Warner Music Group CEO Robert Kyncl revealed a slate of cost-cutting measures that included laying off of roughly 4% of the company’s global staff as it shifts resources to tech initiatives and “new skills for artist and songwriter development,” according to the March 29 announcement. It appears likely that Easterlin’s exit is connected to those measures.
A nearly two-decade veteran of WMG, Easterlin first joined Atlantic Records as senior vp of promotion in 2005 following radio promo stints at Virgin and Island Def Jam. He later served as president of WMG-owned labels Fueled By Ramen and Roadrunner Records before joining Elektra as co-president alongside Nadel in June 2018, reporting to Atlantic Records Group chairman/CEO Craig Kallman and chairman/COO Julie Greenwald. During his tenure, Easterlin has worked with artists including Twenty One Pilots, Tones And I, Slipknot, All Time Low and Panic! At the Disco.
You can read Easterlin’s full email below.
As you already know, I’ve left Elektra as part of the recent changes at the company, but I’m happy to share that I’m not leaving the WMG family altogether and will be doing some consulting for WMX.
I wanted to thank the amazing people who have been an important part of my career, especially our phenomenal team at Elektra Entertainment. You guys are the best in the business, in every sense. I’m so proud of the artist-focused company and the open, collaborative culture we’ve created together. Working alongside Gregg to re-launch and evolve Elektra over the past five years has been a truly special culmination of my nearly two decades at WMG.
In 2005, Julie brought me over from IDJ, where we had worked together for six years, and I want to thank her for being an incredible mentor, booster, and friend for the past 24 years, along with my mentor and partner Craig. And of course, I’d like to thank Max for constantly supporting and championing me as a leader at Warner Music. From doing promo at Lava/Atlantic to running Roadrunner and Fueled By Ramen to helping set Elektra on a new course, it’s been a fantastic journey. So, lastly I have to thank the extraordinary artists who have changed my life with their music – twenty one pilots, Tones and I, Slipknot, Panic! At The Disco, All Time Low, Turnstile – I can’t possibly mention them all here, but helping them build careers and reach fans across the globe has been a true joy and privilege.
Over the past year, it’s been a pleasure to work closely with Gregg, Kevin, Rayna, and Selim as we brought together two indie-spirited labels and launched 3EE. I wish them and everyone on the team, all the best for the future. You’re in good hands.
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