By Jonathan Easton
The business head of YouTube, Robert Kyncl has been hired by Warner Music as its new CEO.
Described by parent company Access Industries boss Len Blavatnik as “the right CEO to meet this moment,” Kyncl will join on January 1, 2023 and oversee the world’s third-largest record label.
The executive had announced his intention to step down as chief business officer of YouTube last month. He will be succeeded by Mary Ellen Coe, president of global customer solutions at Google, on October 3.
Kyncl comes with a strong background in tech, having previously served as vice president of content Netflix during its transition from a DVD rental business into one of the first mainstream subscription streaming services.
The exec has spent the past 12 years at Google-owned YouTube, at a time when the platform grew to become one of the most-visited websites on earth.
Warner will lean on Kyncl’s experience in digital growth as the music industry increasingly looks to sign deals with ad-supported platforms like TikTok and YouTube. The label’s shares have declined 40 per cent in 2022 and are currently at similar levels to 2020.
Blavatnik said: “His command of technology to serve creativity will unlock new opportunities at scale for artists, songwriters and their teams.”
Kyncl said: “Music is an incredible creative force, with an unmatched ability to bring emotions, build communities, and propel change. We’re just at the beginning of what’s possible in recognising music’s true power, value, and reach.”