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Robert Kyncl now a very real candidate to become the new CEO of Warner Music Group, say MBW sources

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Last month, MBW told you to expect to hear rumors that long-time Chief Business Officer at YouTube, Robert Kyncl, could become the new CEO of Warner Music Group.

Today, we’re telling you that those rumors are fast becoming a very real possibility.

As regular readers of MBW will know, Warner Music Group’s current CEO, Steve Cooper, announced in June that he was to leave that position in 2023.

Following that announcement, WMG started the official search for Cooper’s successor. That search has been aided, MBW is told, by The Up Group, while WMG’s own search committee has included figures on the company board such as Ceci Kurzman and Michael Lynton.

An ever-slimming shortlist of possible / desired candidates is understood, at various points in the past few weeks, to have included the likes of Roger Lynch (CEO of Condé Nast, former CEO of Pandora), as well as Jody Gerson (CEO & Chairman of Universal Music Publishing Group), and Nancy Dubuc (CEO of Vice Media).

Meanwhile, internally at Warner, Max Lousada (currently CEO, Global Recorded Music, WMG) has been widely seen as a lead candidate to succeed Cooper – though it’s unclear whether Lousada is interested in stepping up into a more corporate role. Fast-rising Oana Ruxandra (currently Chief Digital Officer/EVP, WMG) is also considered a possible candidate for the CEO position.

However, what started as a murmur around the executive search process has been getting increasingly loud these past few days: Robert Kyncl is now the firm favorite to get the Warner Music Group CEO gig, with multiple supporters of the idea sitting on the WMG board.

It’s not a done deal yet, we hear. But as one source put it “this could now really happen, and it could happen soon – things are moving fast”.

Kyncl announced last month that he was leaving YouTube after 12 years with the company.

Confirming his departure from YouTube, Kyncl wrote on social media: “YouTube is a great place to be at, and a great place to be from!

“After 12 incredible years, I’ve decided to move on to the next challenge soon.

“Working alongside creators, artists, media and music companies to transform media has been a privilege.”Music Business Worldwide

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