Wired Profile of Universal Music CEO Doug Morris

From Seth Mnookin’s excellent profile of Doug Morris in Wired, regarding the music industry’s inability to deal with the digital download revolution:

Morris insists there wasn’t a thing he or anyone else could have done differently. “There’s no one in the record company that’s a technologist,” Morris explains. “That’s a misconception writers make all the time, that the record industry missed this. They didn’t. They just didn’t know what to do. It’s like if you were suddenly asked to operate on your dog to remove his kidney. What would you do?”

Personally, I would hire a vet. But to Morris, even that wasn’t an option. “We didn’t know who to hire,” he says, becoming more agitated. “I wouldn’t be able to recognize a good technology person — anyone with a good bullshit story would have gotten past me.” Morris’ almost willful cluelessness is telling. “He wasn’t prepared for a business that was going to be so totally disrupted by technology,” says a longtime industry insider who has worked with Morris. “He just doesn’t have that kind of mind.”

Kind of obvious to anyone who’s been paying attention, but it’s telling that Morris still doesn’t regret not hiring someone who understood what was going on back in 1999 or 2000. I suppose it’s more likely that he does regret it, but is unwilling to admit it. (Via Vulture.)

Tuesday, 27 November 2007