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The Check Writer is moving on. Lyor Cohen is stepping down as Chairman/CEO of the Warner Music Group, a position he has held since 2004, reports Billboard. The former Def Jam exec and Run-DMC road manager will likely be replaced by former EMI CEO Roger Faxon, who just left the EMI label in the wake of its impending merger with Universal.

As Chairman/CEO of Recorded Music for WMG, Cohen’s role included oversight of the company’s U.S. label groups – The Atlantic Records Group and Warner Bros. Records — WEA Corp., the company’s sales, marketing and retail distribution company; and Rhino Entertainment, WMG’s catalog-marketing division. He is also a member of WMG’s Board of Directors. Cohen joined the company shortly after Time Warner’s sale of WMG to an investor group led by Edgar Bronfman, Jr. 

While at Warner Bros., Cohen was instrumental in signing Rick Ross’ Maybach Music Group, along with individual members Meek Mill and Wale, to the label. The son of Israeli immigrants also brought Chicago rapper Common into the fold.

There is no word at the moment on where Cohen’s next destination may be. This story is developing.

UPDATE (Sept. 25 @ 10:27AM): The New York Times reports that Cohen sent the following message to employees:

“To all the artists and employees who live and die for the music every day,” he said in a statement, “and who personally sacrifice for the good of the creative process: ‘keep on keepin’ on’ in the tradition of a company that respects and honors the artistic community.”

Cohen’s resignation goes into effect at the end September.


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Photo: AP