Warner Music Group announced Tuesday that it tapped a Walt Disney veteran to take over as its finance chief.
Effective Oct. 16, Bryan Castellani will succeed current Warner Music CFO Eric Levin, who is staying on to ensure a smooth transition before retiring in January, according to a press release. Castellani has spent more than two decades at Walt Disney, most recently serving as CFO for Disney Entertainment and ESPN.
"Bryan has wide-ranging experience helping one of the world's most impactful creative enterprises build long-term value and unlock new global possibilities,” Warner Music CEO Robert Kyncl said in the release.
In his new role at Warner Music, Castellani, 52, will receive an annual base salary of $1.1 million and a target annual cash bonus of $1.1 million, with the actual award value to be determined by the company based on factors such as the strength of his performance, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing.
Last month, Warner Music reported that its total revenue rose 9% to $1.56 billion during its third quarter compared to the year-earlier period while net income ticked down to $124 million from $125 million year-over-year. Digital revenue grew 27% and streaming revenue increased 28%.
“I’m delighted to be joining WMG at such an exciting and pivotal time for the company and the music industry,” Castellani said in Warner Music’s Tuesday release.
Castellani’s exit from Disney follows significant turmoil at the company, including a massive layoff and senior leadership changes.
Bob Iger returned to the Burbank, California-based media giant as CEO in November 2022, less than a year after retiring. He took back the reins from Bob Chapek, who was reportedly ousted by the board of directors after the company’s stock fell under his watch.
Upon his return, Iger moved quickly to implement a major restructuring plan. Earlier this year, he announced that Disney was laying off 7,000 employees in an effort to cut costs and “return power to creative executives.”
In another big leadership shift, Disney announced in June that Christine McCarthy was stepping down from her role as its CFO — after two decades in the seat — to take a “family medical leave of absence,” with Kevin Lansberry, replacing her on an interim basis. Earlier in the year, McCarthy made a decision to restructure the company’s entire finance team, according to a leaked memo. Those changes included naming Castellani as the new chief financial officer of Disney Entertainment and ESPN.
Previously, Castellani was the executive vice president of finance for Disney Media and Entertainment Distribution, a unit that was disbanded under Iger’s restructuring initiative.
Castellani’s prior leadership roles at Disney also included senior vice president of operations, business planning and strategy for ABC News; vice president and CFO of Disney’s Japan division; and head of finance and planning for Disney Consumer Products Japan. He started with Disney in 1995 as a financial analyst for The Disney Store.
Before joining Disney, Castellani worked in international finance at the Federal Reserve Board in Washington, D.C.