Former Google CIO Doug Merrill resigns from his roles as president of EMI's Digital Business unit and COO of EMI's New Music unit. Although Merrill had been noted for his work at search giant Google, he said in 2008 that the position at struggling EMI would help fulfill his passion for music.
veteran Doug Merrill, who had previously served as CIO
and vice president of engineering at the search company, stepped down on March
24 from his role at EMI Group as president of EMI Music's Digital Business unit
and chief operating officer of its New Music unit.
Merrill joined EMI in April 2008, as the music company struggled to figure
out a digital strategy. Although no reason was given for his leaving EMI, the
blogosphere seemed rife with comment that not even an innovative Google exec
could reverse the fortunes of a company of which principal investor, Terra
Firma, had just had to take a 1.3 billion Euro loss on its investment.
thanks to its iTunes service, seems to be one of the few concerns in the music
industry currently keeping its head above water.
"Douglas Merrill has today stepped down from his roles as president of
Digital and COO of EMI New Music and will be
leaving the company," Elio Leoni-Sceti, CEO
of EMI, announced in an internal memo that was later posted on All Things
Digital. "I would like to thank Douglas for his
contribution and to wish him well for the future."
Before moving to EMI, Merrill was a leading figure at Google, which he joined
In an interview with the Wall Street Journal while at Google, Merrill
described the IT organization of the company under his watch as "a lot
more self-service." Google employees were allowed to download their own
applications and choose from a variety of machines and operating systems; Merrill
said he didn't want to place too many restrictions on how employees did their
and he trusted in network security built into Google's internal
Then, on April 2, 2008,
EMI Music announced that Merrill was being brought on board to head up the
company's digital music business.
"I have two passions. One is creating platforms and tools that make it
easier for consumers to achieve their goals," Merrill said at the time in
a statement released by EMI. "The other is music."
In interviews with other media venues, he expanded on how music had always
played a critical role in his life and said he saw the music industry as a
challenging arena ripe for experimentation.
His departure was part of a larger
exodus of Google executives in 2008
that led some observers to say the
search giant was experiencing a "brain drain" of its pre-IPO
employees and others.
There has so far been no official word on Merrill's next move.