Jim Fifield

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James G. Fifield was President/CEO of EMI from 1988[1] to 1998.[2]


Prior to joining EMI, Fifield became a vice president at General Mills in 1984.[3] In 1985, he became president and chief executive of CBS/Fox Video.[4]


During his tenure, EMI became the number one publishing company and the third largest music company in the world with operations in over seventy countries and sales in excess of $4 billion. Operating profits grew from $5 million in 1988 to over $550 million in 1998 disposing of Thorn to Thorn EMI to redefine the business as a music business.[citation needed]

Jim acquired Toshiba/EMI in Japan >$400m, SBK Publishing for $337m (in 1989),[2] Chrysalis for £70m, and Virgin $950m amongst dozens of other lesser known labels.

During his tenure, the company expanded into Eastern Europe and Latin America. He also guided the company through global consolidation completely reconfiguring the business to accommodate the birth of the CD, closing vinyl businesses, consolidating the cassette businesses, centralising distribution and warehousing in several countries and launching CD production operations globally.[citation needed]

He established international royalty accounting systems and implemented international accounting and logistics standards.[citation needed]

He left EMI in the spring of 1998, after he failed in a bid to become the EMI group chief executive.[2][5] He was bought out of his contract for 12 million pounds, reportedly the largest corporate buyout in UK history at the time.[6]

In 2007, he pursued a bid to purchase EMI with London-based financier Sam Glover. The bid was later withdrawn.[7][8][9][10]


  1. ^ [1][dead link]
  2. ^ a b c Pareles, Jon. "Thorn-EMI Gets SBK for $337 Million". Nytimes.com. Retrieved 20 July 2018.
  3. ^ [2][dead link]
  4. ^ "New President At CBS/Fox". Nytimes.com. Retrieved 20 July 2018.
  5. ^ "Leadership Plan Unravels at EMI". Nytimes.com. Retrieved 20 July 2018.
  6. ^ "Heads you win, tails you win". Independent.co.uk. Retrieved 20 July 2018.
  7. ^ [3][dead link]
  8. ^ [4][dead link]
  9. ^ "Billboard biz". Investegate.co.uk. Retrieved 20 July 2018.
  10. ^ "Billboard biz". Billboard.biz. Retrieved 20 July 2018.

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