The leadership reshuffle in Germany follows a similar changing of the guard last October in France, where Alain Veille took over for Thierry chassagne as president of Warner Music France. Like Dopp, Chassagne had been at the head of its respective WMG subsidiary since 2004.
Dopp is a five-decade WMG veteran and the longest-serving CEO of the company in Europe. After working in retail, he joined Warner Music in 1984 as a label manager before becoming Managing Director of WEA Records a decade later. When WEA merged with Warner Classics and other entities to form Warner Music Germany in 2001, he was made responsible. In 2004, Warner Music International created a new European structure, consolidating the major’s operations in Germany, Switzerland and Austria (GSA) into what would later become Warner Music Central Europe.
As CEO from the very beginning, Dopp has guided WMCE through the music industry‘s often bumpy transition to digital and, more recently, through a unique pandemic. Through it all, he has delivered hits in his territories with international artists including Ed Sheeran, Bruno Mars and Cardi B, and through national talents, ranging from the popular German rap genre to the children’s music market. Other Warner artists who have benefited from his support over the years include Neil Young, Prince, Madonna, Linkin Park, Bruno Mars, Enya and many more.
With the appointments of Schimk and Drebes as co-chairs, Warner Music will become the first major in Germany to have a dual management structure. Both have been members of Dopp’s management team since 2014 and in their current roles since 2018.
“Working with Bernd Dopp was all about learning from excellence,” the two executives said in a joint statement. “He is our most influential mentor. He has continually pushed us forward with enthusiasm, empathy and experience. As a true leader and icon in music, he leaves behind a tremendous and valuable legacy in the industry. music and deserves our utmost respect. “
The company said Dopp will remain involved beyond October, acting as a senior consultant. As for when he left, Dopp remarked that it was simply “time for a generational change” at the label.
“It has been an honor and a privilege to experience this incredible journey with Warner Music,” he said. “Now I am proud to hand over the responsibility of the business to Doreen Schimk and Fabian Drebes. They are both highly respected in the artist community, as well as in the local and international music industry. They truly are among the most excellent music leaders in Europe and I have absolute confidence in both to lead the business to an even more successful future. I wish them all the best, much success and much fun! Of course I would like to thank all my team and all the artists with whom and for whom I had the privilege to work. I had a great time! “