NEW YORK, May 3 -- Time Warner Inc. announced Wednesday that Robert Morgado has left as chairman of Warner Music Group, being replaced by Michael Fuchs, head of Time Warner's Home Box Office cable channel. Morgado's departure follows months of turmoil in the executive suites at Warner Music, the world's largest record company. Morgado's policies have been under fire since last July, when he initiated a controversial restructuring plan that forced out several executives, including two highly respected executives of Warner Bros. Records, Mo Ostin and Lenny Waronker. Ostin's departure sparked widespread resentment within the industry and prompted analysts to wonder whether Warner Music could keep its roster of artists intact. Despite the management problems at Warner Music, it posted revenues of $995 million in the first quarter. The operation -- which includes Warner Bros. Records, Elektra Entertainment and Atlantic Group -- is home to such stars as Eric Clapton, Madonna, Metallica, REM and Snoop Doggy Dogg. Fuchs has a strong reputation for having built HBO into the world's largest and most profitable pay-television operation. Even though he has no experience in the record business, he is highly regarded in the entertainment industry and has been mentioned as a possible candidate to run MCA Inc., recently taken over by Seagram. Some analysts have already said that Fuchs will only occupy the music post for a short time before stepping aside for Doug Morris, who is chairman of Warner Music-U.S. There have been numerous reports of chilly relationships between Morgado and Morris since the restructuring was announced.
Morgado joined Warner Communications Inc. in 1982 as a special assistant to Steve Ross, the late chairman, and was named chairman of Warner Music following the 1990 merger with Time Inc. 'I leave the company with an enormous sense of pride,' Morgado said. 'Over the past 10 years, we have built a vertically integrated, worldwide operation with annual revenues that have grown from less than $1 billion in 1985 to nearly $4 billion in 1994, by pursuing a plan of strategic acquisitions and internal investments.' Reports had emerged this week that Time Warner Chairman Gerald Levin was on the verge of asking Morgado to step down and be replaced by Fuchs. Jeffrey Bewkes, president of HBO, has been elevated to CEO of the operation.