Another VP overboard at EMI Classics

Another VP overboard at EMI Classics


norman lebrecht

July 20, 2010

To lose one vice president, as Oscar Wilde so aptly put it, may be regarded as a misfortune. To lose two looks like carelessness.

Three months after parting company with A& R chief Stephen Johns, EMI Classics today sailed ahead without Graham Southern, V-P Catalogue, who looks after backlist releases, including such current triumphs as the phenomenal Mahler box.

Graham, I understand, left of his own volition, a pretty brave thing to do in these tricky times. He told friends he was unable to put up with management-speak from the hedge-trimmers who run the company.

Here’s the internal memo from his boss, announcing his departure:

Dear Classics colleagues,

I’d like to announce that Graham Southern, Vice President Catalogue for EMI Classics, will be leaving EMI.   Graham will remain in the role through the next 3 months as we transition to replacement. 
 I’d like to take this opportunity to thank him on behalf of EMI  Classics for his many years of dedicated service to the company, to its artists and its worldleading catalogue of great recordings.   Graham will be missed and we wish him well in his next endeavours.

With thanks,

Eric Dingman


  • Michael P. Scott says:

    I’ve only just run across the book, Death Sentences: How Cliches, Weasel Words and Management-Speak Are Strangling Public Language by Don Watson.
    It’s five years old; one can buy a used copy for a penny on the US Amazon site.
    I spent a lifetime or two writing such drivel and so Mr. Graham’s decision to depart his company because of corporate speak (AKA: Death Sentences) has propelled him to the top of my list of modern day heros and heroines — Mother Teresa and Steve Jobs, to name two from disparate fields of endeavors and, to the best of my knowledge, neither of whom would use a weasel word if doing so resulted in being stoned to death by the goofballs in the Middle East.
    He is to be congratulated. I’d do anything I could to help him find employment. Maybe Chicago’s Cedille would take him on to help promote their very presence.
    Michael Scott