Robert Kyncl

A number of potential candidates to be the next boss of Warner Music Group when current head Steve Cooper steps down have been mooted in recent months. But when Billboard, Variety and MBW all suddenly say the same executive is now the frontrunner, you know something’s up.

Said executive is Robert Kyncl, the outgoing chief business officer of YouTube. Last month YouTube boss Susan Wojkicki announced that he’d be leaving YouTube in early 2023 “to start the next chapter in his career”, but now three of the most prominent music industry trade publications have decided that his destination is WMG.

More than rumours? The wording is instructive. Billboard said Kyncl is “in serious talks” to succeed Cooper and that “his tech background has made him the frontrunner”. Variety claimed that “Kyncl and Warner are well into talks that could see him taking on the role after Cooper steps down next year” while caveating that “no decision has been made on either side”. And MBW suggested that Kyncl “is now the firm favorite to get the Warner Music Group CEO gig, with multiple supporters of the idea sitting on the WMG board”.

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