By Robert Menta- 8/29/01
Michael Robertson, the man who purchased the mp3.com domain for $10,000 to turn it into the number one digital music site on the Net has ceded his position as CEO of the company.
This news comes on the day that Vivendi Universal officially consummated its purchase of MP3.com. MP3.com president Robin Richards has been tapped to replace Robertson.
"I am honored to lead MP3.com into the next phase of its growth," Richards said. " We will stay the course and continue to grow in the digital music space. "
The deal most likely included a healthy buyout for Robertson who watched as a significant portion of his company's cash reserves were lost to settle lawsuits filed by the major labels against it. Those lawsuits devalued the company severely and made it vulnerable for an easy takeover by the record industry. Robertson will continue in an advisory role for Vivendi Universal, but the company added Robertson is pursuing other interests and plans to start a separate business.
The eyes now turn on Richards to see how he will steer the company now that it is under the umbrella of the record industry. Richards helped build the company and is considered its main architect towards developing revenue generating products and services. Prior to becoming President of MP3.com he served as managing director of Tickets.com.
As MP3.com's founding president, Robin Richards played a major role in the company's rise to global prominence,'' said Jean-Marie Messier, chairman and chief executive of Vivendi Universal in a company press release. "He possesses the leadership, innovation and dedication required to propel MP3.com to new heights and I am confident that he will make tremendous achievements within the Vivendi Universal Group.''
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