| 28 Feb 2024
Health issues force Max Hole to step down as UMG InternationalÆs chairman and CEO

MUMBAI: The resignation of Universal Music Group International’s (UMGI) Max Hole as the organisation's chairman and CEO has come as a shock to many. Once considered a contender for 'most powerful label executive outside America' by Billboard, the conscious decision to step down was taken by the 64-year-old.

In a statement the company said, “In January, Max contracted encephalitis, as a result of which he has suffered some memory loss. While he is making progress towards a recovery, a full resumption of his responsibilities is not possible at this time. As Max’s recovery continues, he and the company will discuss projects in which Max will have continuing involvement."

With Hole’s departure, Universal Music’s regional heads outside the U.S. will report directly to UMG chairman and CEO, Lucian Grainge.

In his statement Hole said, “I have loved working at Universal, the best record company in the world. Lucian is an extraordinary person, both an exceptional creative and business executive for whom I have great affection. We have known each other for a very, very long time and I am so glad we remain friends.”

Sharing the same admiration for Hole, Grainge stated, "Max Hole is one of the most talented and accomplished executives to have ever worked in the music business, with an undying passion for music. He has been one of our industry’s most effective champions, opening new markets and creating opportunities for artists and fans everywhere. Max’s contributions to Universal will be forever a part of the fabric of this company and our industry, and he leaves with our deepest gratitude and respect."

Hole joined UMGI as senior VP, marketing and A&R in 1998. In 2004, he was promoted to the role of EVP, and was subsequently put in charge of digital, strategic marketing and commercial affairs, and Asia Pacific and Nordic/Central/Eastern Europe as well. He also oversaw the promotion and marketing of top artists including Bon Jovi, Amy Winehouse, Snow Patrol, Justin Bieber, Andrea Bocelli, Juanes, U2, Eminem, Gwen Stefani, Shania Twain and Bryan Adams. In 2010 he was appointed COO of UMGI, and three years later was elevated to the role of chairman and CEO of UMGI.