Sing When You're Winning

EMI

IN TUNE: Alain Levy

When Seagram bought Polygram in 1998 for $10.6 billion, the French-born ceo Alain Levy found himself out of a job. Not for bad performance: Levy had turned PolyGram into the world's largest music company by a combination of organic growth and strategic acquisitions at a time when CD sales were booming. After the company was sold, Levy, then aged 51, spent several years consulting and pondering the state of a changing industry, and quickly concluded that old models for growth were gone. CD sales peaked in 2000, damaging companies bedeviled by piracy and the online trading of free music. Levy...

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