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Warner Music UK appoints Linda Walker as new SVP commercial

Warner Music UK has promoted Linda Walker to the role of SVP, commercial, UK and Europe, in a move that sees her join the company’s senior management team.

Walker, who has been with the business since 1990, will head up all aspects of Warner Music UK’s commercial relationships with digital services and physical retailers, including those in the independent sector. She will also oversee the activity of the company’s Research and Analysis Department, run by Nick Allum, VP, commercial and analytics, UK and Europe, which handles the gathering and assimilating of data for strategic purposes.

Her promotion follows the departure of Derek Allen, who last year decided to step down from the business after almost 10 years with Warner Music UK.

“I’m excited to step up into this new role,” said Walker. “The music industry is moving faster than ever and we have to be nimble to thrive. But at the same time, it still all comes down to putting out great music and convincing others it’s as special as you know it is. I’m also excited to be part of the senior management team at WMUK, so I can help move us forward as a company.

“I want to thank Tony [Harlow, Warner Music UK CEO] for the opportunity and Derek for his support and friendship over the years. I’ve learnt a lot from him and hope to live up to his expectations.”

Harlow added: “Linda is a prized member of the Warner Music family, and I’m glad that we can recognise her long-term contribution in this way. Linda joined the music industry when only a handful of women were working in commercial teams, which makes her achievements even more impressive. She continues to bring determination, passion, and business acumen to everything she does, including her role as co-chair of our Women of Warner employee resource group. While Linda has already had a hand in changing our company culture for the better, I can’t wait to add her voice, passion, and wisdom to our UK senior management team so that we can bring about positive change even faster.”

The industry is moving faster than ever. We have to be nimble to thrive. Linda Walker, SVP commercial, Warner Music UK

Harlow also paid tribute to the outgoing Allen: “I can’t thank Derek Allen enough for what he has done for the business at Warner, and before that at EMI. We are losing a key strategist, which is important, but a great friend, which matters more. It was a bitter pill when he decided to retire, but we all hope to see him again often and wish him and his family all the best.”

Walker started her music industry career behind the counter at the Shooting Star record shop before joining Warner Music in 1990. She initially handled the South Coast before her appointment as national account manager brought her back to London.

She later moved to Warner Music’s WEA division (now WMX), supporting all Apple accounts across Europe, before re-joining the commercial team as VP in 2018 to oversee the delivery of all of Warner Music’s releases in the UK and Europe. She has been heavily involved in the success of some of the UK’s biggest albums, including number one records from the likes of Coldplay, Dua Lipa, Ed Sheeran, Foals, Jess Glynne, Liam Gallagher, Michael Bublé, Muse, and Rod Stewart. She also played a key role in the success of The Greatest Showman soundtrack, which has sold more than two million copies in the UK alone.