by Peter Kafka
David Ring, one of Universal Music Groupâ€™s top digital business executives, is leaving the company.
Ringâ€™s departure comes a few days after his boss, digital business head Rob Wells, departed. Both men are longtime veterans at the worldâ€™s biggest music label, which didnâ€™t have any comment tonight.
In a letter he sent to music industry contacts, Ring said he would advise UMG on digital issues. â€œIt has been my sincere privilege to have had the chance to help UMG and its talented labels and artists navigate the massive changes required to transition from the CD business to the exhilarating digital business of today and tomorrow,â€ he wrote.
The shake-up at Universal comes as the label is involved in several high-stakes negotiations with digital heavyweights including YouTube, Apple and Spotify. UMG CEO Lucian Grainge is pushing all of his digital distributors to promote paid subscription options and away from free, ad-supported streaming.
Last year Universal brought on Michael Lang, who had previously run Miramax and worked on News Corp.â€™s distribution efforts, as a consultant. Some industry observers believe Langâ€™s role will increase at the company.