Zach Horowitz


Universal Music Group

As Universal Music Group's top man in L.A., Zach Horowitz, 45, helps oversee a music empire that includes eight different record labels (Interscope, Geffen Records and MCA among them) a vast library of recorded music, the marketing and development of Universal artists worldwide and the company's concert promotions arm.

A 15-year executive with Universal, Horowitz has seen the company grow into one of the six major music entities. In a business known for quick turnover of top management, he has survived three different administrations on Universal's music side, as well as the ownership changes of the parent company in recent years.

Horowitz operates primarily behind the scenes (he reports to Chairman Doug Morris and Vice Chairman Mel Lewinter in New York); one insider described him as having "the best poker face in the business."

He helped put together the 1990 purchase of Geffen Records and Universal's 50 percent acquisition of Interscope Records two years ago. These days, his big job is overseeing the integration of the PolyGram label, which Universal's parent company Seagram Co. Ltd. agreed to buy earlier this year for $10.6 billion. The transaction is expected to move Seagram/Universal "into the top tier of the music business," according to Jessica Reif Cohen, an analyst with Merrill Lynch Global Securities. Indeed, Seagram will own the largest recorded music company in the world following the deal.

The New York-born Horowitz moved to Los Angeles when he was 6 months old and considers himself a lifelong Angeleno. He graduated from Claremont Men's College and earned his law degree from Stanford University. He had a brief stint as an attorney at an L.A. law firm before moving to CBS.

In 1983, Horowitz joined MCA Records as vice president of business and legal affairs. Three years later, he moved over to MCA Music Entertainment Group. He became the group's chief operating officer in 1994.

"The whole music business has gotten so much more expensive," Horowitz said. "It's much more expensive to sign recording artists and market them than it used to be."

Howard Fine

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