In a major industry announcement, Jose Behar, President & Chief Executive Officer of EMI Latin Records, will be leaving his position at EMI Latin on March 31, 2001, 12 years from the inception of the label.
"I felt that it was time to take on new challenges and to continue to grow as a music executive," said Behar. "I feel that I have completed my mission at EMI Latin," continued Behar, "and am pleased to have started and created one of the leading Latin music labels in the music industry. Our label helped define the term 'bicultural,' being pioneers in the crossover movement," added Behar, "and I'm very proud to have been a part of that."
Under Behar's leadership, EMI Latin has been responsible for discovering and/or developing the careers of such top talents as Selena, Jon Secada, Barrio Boyzz, Intocable, Kumbia Kings, Los Tucanes De Tijuana, Carlos Ponce, Oscar De La Hoya, Graciela Beltran, Vico C, Millie, Limite 21, Fiel a la Vega, JYVE V and Ednita Nazario, among others, in addition to special projects such as the 1996 Olympics CD, Voces Unidas, an all-star lineup of Latin superstars featuring Gloria Estefan, Julio Iglesias and Placido Domingo.
Behar is responsible for having established EMI Latin as a full-fledged label with A&R, marketing, promotion and sales -- with headquarters in Los Angeles and offices in New York, San Juan, San Antonio, and Miami. Prior to EMI Latin's inception, there was no Latin label and all EMI Spanish music was licensed to another major.
EMI Latin is a leading profit center for EMI Music North America. Behar attributes this success to their market share leadership in the regional Mexican market, which is estimated to account for 60% of all total market sales in Latin music in the U.S. and Puerto Rico.
"I have had a great run at EMI, and will always be grateful for having been given the opportunity to build a great record company, which I know will thrive for years to come," said Behar.
Industry insiders speculated that Mr. Behar will be heading up the record label division of Univision Communications. Based on his previous relationship with Oscar de La Hoya and other great Mexican oriented artists, Mr. Behar is a natural choice.