So Much For That Plan: Google CIO Doesn't Even Last A Year At EMI

from the whoops dept

Nearly a year ago, we were surprised, but hopeful when it was announced that Doug Merrill, former CIO of Google was joining EMI to head up its digital initiatives. It definitely seemed like the big record labels could use a nice injection of Google-style thinking — though, we were worried that Merrill would be pigeonholed as a “techie” rather than someone integrated into the wider strategy. And, indeed, watching EMI continue to make a series of self-destructive moves left us wondering how much influence, if any, Merrill had on the firm. Just a few weeks ago, we pointed out that Merrill should be ashamed to be associated with a company that is actively stomping out innovation left and right.

Who knows what the real reason is, but it looks like Merrill didn’t work out at EMI. Less than a year after taking the job, Merrill is no longer employed by EMI. Neither side is talking about why — though EMI said something about how it’s unnecessary to have a separate “digital division.” That goes back to our original fears: suggesting Merrill was limited just to digital issues, rather than overall strategy. But, the fact that he’s totally gone from the company so quickly suggests that perhaps he tried to shift the direction of the company and was unable to get very far. That’s a loss for EMI and the big record labels, who never seem to miss an opportunity to make things worse for themselves.

Filed Under: ,
Companies: emi, google

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “So Much For That Plan: Google CIO Doesn't Even Last A Year At EMI”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
Weird Harold (user link) says:

Re: Re: Re:

yeah, but really, can’t you picture the tight asses in suits over at EMI laughing out loud with some of the stuff this guy likely brought to the table? Sort of on the same level as the flat earth guys being told the world was round. I didn’t suggest they are right, I am actually suggesting their heads are probably so hard they won’t even get the basics, let alone a complicated strategy that asks them to ditch their entire business model for a new and unproven one.

Yes, you are right too: If I looked at Itunes (with drm), I would say there is little reason to compete with them. I suspect the rates charged by Apple on this are lower than the costs that most record companies would see trying to do it themselves. Sort of shows where middlemen come from.

Jesse says:

I guess time will tell, WH. By the way, didn’t you steal that name from Fat Albert? Fair use doesn’t exist…you can’t put words together that have ever been used together by somebody else…all ideas come from a vacuum…yadda yadda yadda…you are a thief. Pay up: $150,000 for every time you post; you’ve already defended these fines so you shouldn’t mind.

But yes, keep spewing that crap, see all the good it does you.

RD says:


“Sorry, but (a) fat albert was before my time, and (b) I am not a cartoon character or a drawing.

Nice try troll.”

Ignorance of the law is no defense. You are trading on the name of a copyrighted character. Figure you have stolen the name and used it without paying at least dozens of times on this site alone. You are guilty of theft. Pay up, $150k per offense.

bulljustin (profile) says:

perfect opportunity

Seems like Doug Merrill now has the perfect opportunity to show EMI, WMG, et al what’s what in the new distribution system. Since he now has a year of “music industry” experience he should have enough contacts to draw personnel from EMI and others to start a company. This company being headed by progressive thinkers instead of lawyers could be just what the music industry needs to see they need to change or perish. I hope he does something with this, and Mike I hope you can help him. Maybe you should mention it at the next music conference you go to.

Cheese McBeese says:

Could it be lack of competence?

Why does everybody think Google is so great and the people who work there are geniuses? They have a really good search engine and a very tightly integrated ad model – all of which is surrounded by a lot of mediocre (or crap) applications.

I’m not surprised that when Google execs re-enter the real world that they find it’s more difficult to walk on water. You have to add value. You can’t just get away with a trendy haircut and an “I used to work at Google” mentality. I guess that might work at Facebook or Twitter, but I can’t think of any other good job prospects for these people at real companies. Can you?

Jesse says:

“Sorry, but (a) fat albert was before my time, and (b) I am not a cartoon character or a drawing.”

How is (a) a defense? The fact that fat albert was before your time underscores my point. It was there first. Your usage of the name was there second. You copied it; copyright doesn’t care if you meant to.

(b) What is that, an attempt at a fair use defense, or trying to use trademark law. Either way, according to copyright fanatics like yourself, fair use doesn’t exist, and according to trademark fanatics (consider Monster Cable) any usage of a name, no matter of context, is a violation.

What is your blog, I want to read it. Maybe I’ll be your first hit.

Scott Gardner (profile) says:

RD & Jesse

I know I shouldn’t feed the trolls, but here goes:

You can’t get copyright protection for a fictional character name. A character name in and of itself is not a literary work, and is only protected as part of the work that the character appears in. I could write a western novel and name the ranch hands “Travis Bickle”, “Forrest Gump” and “Jack Sparrow”, and there’s not a damn thing anyone could do about it.

Even if you could copyright a character name, misuse would be infringement, not theft.

It is possible to get *trademark* protection for a fictional character name, but Bill Cosby’s “Weird Harold” character doesn’t qualify for such protection. The *visual likeness* of Weird Harold from the TV show & movies might be protected, but WH isn’t using the visual likeness in his posts.

And on an unrelated note, Cosby’s “Weird Harold” character actually pre-dates “Fat Albert & the Cosby Kids” by quite a while. He’s mentioned on the 1966 album “Wonderfulness” (in the “Go-Karts” routine), as well as 1967’s “Revenge” (He’s a big part of the “9th Street Bridge” skit). He may be on the older albums as well, but “Wonderfulness” is the oldest BC album I own.

yogi says:

What's a troll

A troll is someone who’s comments add nothing of value to the discussion and whose comments therefore incite , over and over again, a futile discussion on the merits of said comments, thereby rendering each comment thread useless and unreadable.

As of now I would say that WH fits the bill.

The only way to stop a troll is to disregard him or her.I suggest we do so immediately.

wheatus (user link) says:

What if...

Is there anything stopping Google from actually partnering on content with new, unsigned artists?…50/50 sounds fair.

I understand this may be an absurd question, but I’d really like to know if it’s actually illegal? Is there a monopoly issue?

I’m only bringing this up because with that amount of consolidated presentation power these Majors wouldn’t last passed August. Someone needs to put a sickle to this corn already.

….And then Techdirt could write about all the great new developments like DSD and Korg 1 bit players, as there would be no more of these stomach acid troll festivals and WH could go back to bat breeding or what ever he does.


Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop »

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...