After more than 20 years at Roadrunner Records, including 12 as president, Jonas Nachsin is stepping down from that post.
In Nachsin's exit letter to his staff, which Billboard.biz has obtained, he wrote, "Twenty-plus years ago I was hired as U.S. director of sales and marketing at an upstart European-based metal label named Roadrunner Records. Through the years I took on a variety of posts, spending the last twelve years as Roadrunner’s President, during which time the label evolved into a rock powerhouse.
"The moment has come for me to move on to my next challenge. It’s been a great ride, and I will cherish the hours spent with so many talented and wonderful people, including the artists, managers and extremely dedicated staff I was fortunate enough to work with. I am so proud of what we have accomplished to showcase Roadrunner as not only a 'record company' but as a lifestyle and cultural beacon for fans around the globe. The chemistry of groundbreaking artists worked by a world-class group of truly committed employees has made Roadrunner a name with no equal over the years. That will continue.
"I would especially like to express my gratitude to founder Cees Wessels who gave me my start and the opportunity to help grow Roadrunner into the important, vibrant label it has become. I wish the great team here much success as they move forward into a new chapter for Roadrunner."
Craig Kallman and Julie Greenwald of Atlantic Records Group, the umbrella label founded in 2004 by Warner Music Group to oversee the labels (including Roadrunner) assigned to its Atlantic Records unit, issued a separate memo thanking Nachsin for his contributions. "For two decades, Jonas has been a passionate champion of Roadrunner's incredible roster of artists and helped forge the unique identity of one of the world's great labels," they wrote. "Everyone who has worked with Jonas — including artists, managers, the Roadrunner team and the wider Warner Music family — have all been touched by his commitment and leadership. He has been instrumental in the careers of so many extraordinary artists, from superstars including NICKELBACK and SLIPKNOT to breaking talents YOUNG THE GIANT and STONE SOUR. We will all miss Jonas and wish him the best in his next endeavor."
Roadrunner's April 2012 "restructuring" under Warner Music Group resulted in roughly 36 staff members worldwide being let go and several regional offices being closed (including the office in the U.K.).
In the U.S., Roadrunner is continuing to operate as a standalone frontline label. In addition, Roadrunner Records founder/CEO Cees Wessels left the label 17 months after the completion of its sale to the Warner Music Group.
Initially founded in the Netherlands in 1980, Roadrunner Records earned its place as one of the most prominent international independent record labels. The Roadrunner catalog boasts early releases from such seminal artists as KING DIAMOND, TYPE O NEGATIVE, SEPULTURA and ANNIHILATOR. More recently, the label has experienced unprecedented success with multi-platinum artists NICKELBACK and SLIPKNOT, gold-certified STONE SOUR and KILLSWITCH ENGAGE, as well as modern heavy hitters TRIVIUM and MACHINE HEAD.