Bertelsmann eCommerce Group

Bertelsmann E-Commerce Group Announces New Management And Organization For Bemusic

    Hamburg / New York (ots) -

    Veteran executive team to lead BeMusic, the world's #1 global music service company

    BeMusic brings together digital and physical worlds of entertainment for all consumers

    Bertelsmann eCommerce Group (BeCG), a unit of Bertelsmann AG, announced today a new executive management team to lead BeMusic, the world's largest music services group with more than 23 million subscribers and customers, and $1 billion in music sales. BeMusic also holds and is developing its strategic alliance with Napster, the popular person-to-person file sharing music service with more than 60 million registered users.

    BeMusic was formed July 1, consisting of CDNOW, the leading Internet-based music retailer, BMG Direct, home of BMG Music Service, the largest record club business in North America, and myplay, the pioneering digital music locker company, among other assets. Effective immediately, BeMusic will be aligned into three divisions -- BeMusic Direct, BeMusic Digital and BeMusic Services. Andreas Schmidt, 40, will serve as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of BeMusic, while continuing his existing position as President and Chief Executive Officer of BeCG. The newly organized divisions of BeMusic will report directly to Schmidt.

    "We have assembled an incredibly talented team to guide BeMusic, which is positioned as the one-stop shop for today's and tomorrow's consumer, covering the complete spectrum of how people buy and enjoy music," said Schmidt. "As consumers demand easy access to music in a variety of digital and physical forms, BeMusic stands to deliver their music through any possible channel, including music club purchasing, e-tailing, digital downloads and streaming, and digital subscription services. Our executive team will build on the already-long term relationship we have with consumers, drawing on the world's largest music customer database."

    Schmidt appointed Stuart Goldfarb, 46, as President and Chief Executive of BeMusic Direct. He will also serve as a member of the Board of BeMusic. Goldfarb, most recently President and CEO of bol.com, will manage all operations of BMG Direct and CDNOW. BeMusic Direct has over 500 employees in New York and Philadelphia, serving 12.2 million subscribers through the world's largest music clubs and 4.5 million customers through the leading online music retailer, CDNOW. BeMusic Direct provides a unique consumer experience in delivering music online and offline. Mike Krupit, President and CEO of CDNOW, will report to Goldfarb. George McMillan, 47, President and CEO of BMG Direct, will leave the company to become Chief Financial Officer at Andover, Mass.-based CMGI, the diversified Internet operating company. Schmidt said "I want to personally thank George for his significant contributions to the development of BMG Direct and I wish him the best in his next challenge."

    Tom Hoekzema, 47, has been named President and CEO of BeMusic Services, the online and offline fulfillment division of BeMusic. He will also serve as a Member of the Board of BeMusic. Hoekzema, who was Senior Vice President of Operations for BMG Direct, will lead BeMusic Services' 1,800 employees in Indianapolis, Ind. and Duncan, S.C., in addition to overseeing the Applications Services Group and Customer Service departments. BeMusic Services delivers over 150 million CDs each year to the BeMusic Customers worldwide through its state-of-the-art services, distribution and fulfillment facilities.

    Schmidt will coordinate BeMusic Digital's operations until a President and CEO for the division is named.  BeMusic Digital has 100 employees and serves over 23 million customers through its myplay digital locker and subscription services and its worldwide leading music websites. BeMusic Digital is also charged with building the new integrated music destination service for BeMusic that will combine all forms of online and digital distribution of music including clubs, retail and digital subscriptions. Daniel Alegre, 32, vice president, business development of BeCG, has been appointed vice president BeMusic Digital and will develop strategy for the division.

    Bill Sorenson, 46, has been appointed Executive Vice President, Chief Financial and Chief Administrative Office of BeMusic in addition to being an appointed member of the Board for the company. BeMusic's finance, human resources, and corporate technology departments will report Sorenson. Sorenson will remain as Chief Financial Officer of BeCG.

    Patrick Reilly, 44, has been appointed, Senior Vice President of Corporate Communications for BeMusic. Reilly will also continue in that role at BeCG.

    Worth Linen, 48, has been appointed by the Board of BeMusic as outside Director to the Board. Linen is founder of WLA Worth Linen Associates. He served from 1991 through 1996 as President and CEO of BMG Direct and most recently as Chairman and CEO of The Signature Group, the world's second-largest affinity marketing company. Linen will focus on coordination and integration of all direct marketing activities of BeMusic.

    "With this new management team in place, BeMusic will continue to expand its position as the worldwide leading music service company and maintain its leading position in developing the technologies and business models that respect rights holders and bring music to consumers in the easiest and most convenient way," said Schmidt. "I wish all my colleagues good luck in their new positions as we move forward with our vision of removing the barriers that will allow the global music consumer to access music anywhere, anytime."

    About BeMusic:

    BeMusic is the world's largest music services group with more than 23 million subscribers and customers, $1 billion in music sales, and has over 11 million unique visitors per month worldwide. Headquartered in New York City, BeMusic operates some of the world's best-known music brands, including BMG Music Service, the world's largest music club; CDNOW, the #1 music retailer on the Internet in the U.S; industry-leading technology and Digital Rights Management companies; and myplay Inc., the pioneering digital music locker service. BeMusic is focused on creating the one-stop shop for today's and tomorrow's consumer, covering the complete spectrum of how people buy and enjoy music. BeMusic delivers music through any possible channel, including music club purchasing, e-tailing, digital downloads and streaming, and digital subscriptions services. Formed in July 2001, BeMusic consists of three core divisions: BeMusic Direct, BeMusic Services and BeMusic Digital. BeMusic also holds a strategic alliance with Napster, the worldwide person-to-person music file-sharing service with more than 60 million registered users.

    About BeCG:

    Bertelsmann eCommerce Group was formed in July 2000 as a division of Bertelsmann AG. Objective of the group is to integrate all forms of digital  and physical distribution over the internet, broadband and mobile networks for all media content. Headquartered in New York, BeCG operates various businesses in Europe and the United States. BeCG is part of Direct Group Bertelsmann. Bertelsmann has access to over 200 million customers worldwide.

    ** Biographies of BeMusic executives are available upon request **

ots Originaltext: Bertelsmann eCommerce Group
Internet: www.newsaktuell.ch

Contact:
In the U.S.:
Patrick Reilly
Senior Vice President, Corp. Communications
Phone +1 212.930.3966
Mobile +1 917.353.5774
E-mail: patrick.reilly@becg.com

Melinda Meals
Director, Corp. Communications
Phone: +1 212-930-4418
Mobile: +1 917-696-3620
E-mail: melinda.meals@becg.com

In Europe:
Alexander Adler  
Director, Corporate Communications
Phone:  +49 40 82 2262 320
Mobile: +49 179 101 2930
E-mail: alexander.adler@becg.com



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