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Idols judge Randall Abrahams to leave Universal Music

2016-03-03 10:21

Johannesburg - Idols judge Randall Abrahams is reportedly leaving his job at Universal Music South Africa.

According to two well-placed sources within Universal Randall, who is also a judge on popular reality show Idols, was shown the door because the company wasn’t happy with his services and he "couldn’t deliver" as the managing director.

One of the sources told City Press that when he was head-hunted in 2012, they believed in him and they were hoping he could do the job, because he understood the music industry so well.

Abrahams did not respond to our calls and text messages. Abrahams’ personal assistant Jennifer Egan told City Press that she was given an instruction to not respond to any media queries.

"I have told Randall that you have been looking for him," she said.

After all attempts to get hold of Abrahams failed, City Press went to Universal Music’s offices in Rosebank, but he was not available for comment.

The executive director of Universal Music SA, Dharam Sewraj, told City Press yesterday that he could not comment on the speculation.

A replacement for Abrahams

According to one of the sources, Abrahams was made aware that his contract would not be renewed towards the end of last year, but his last day to report at work would be at the end of this month.

According to the sources, Abrahams had been with the company for almost four years, but he hadn’t brought any change within the company. They both said that the decision to not renew his contract came from Universal Music’s head office in the United Kingdom.

There was speculation that the Southern African Music Rights Organisation chief executive Sipho Dlamini, who was currently serving his notice period, would be replacing Abrahams as the managing director of Universal.

When we approached Dlamini for comment this week, he would not neither deny nor confirm that he would join Universal.

He said: "I’m afraid at the moment I’m still serving my notice at Samro. The board has requested me not to talk about where I might be going."

Last week, the music rights organisation issued a press release saying they were bidding farewell to Dlamini, but it didn’t say that he would be joining Universal.

The statement said he was "stepping down at the end of March to pursue other business interests".

One of the sources added that there were rumours doing the rounds that former EMI managing director Pino di Benedetto was going to replace Abrahams, but Benedetto denied that he was approached or applied for the Universal job.

Dlamini joined the organisation at the beginning of 2012 as general manager of marketing and business development following an illustrious career in international live event production, artist management and the record industry. He was promoted to deputy three years ago and in July last year he was appointed as chief executive.

Dlamini was also an active member of the International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers, sitting on its board of directors as well as its executive governance committee.

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