In a bit of a surprise move, Douglas Merrill, a VP of engineering (one of a few) at Google (and sometimes referred to as the company's CIO) is jumping ship to become "president of digital" at major record label EMI
. Amusingly, this comes just a month and a half after he declared in an interview that he had "the best CIO job in the world."
No matter what, this should be interesting. EMI has been charting a different course than the other major record labels since a private equity firm bought it out last year. Rather than whine and fret, the company seems to be looking at the changing marketplace (finally!) as an opportunity
. The company has also cut back
from the IFPI/RIAA campaign of lawsuits, though it hasn't
gone away from them completely. Still, a Google exec, hopefully with at least some of Google's DNA of treating users right
can only lead to good things. As we've said, there's still a huge role
for record labels to play in the new digital world, if they just stopped looking at the past. Either way, we're about to find out what a Google exec could do with a major record label, and hopefully, it'll be a huge step in the right direction.