Sole member of the Management Board / CEO
Michael Haentjes is the founder, principal shareholder and CEO of Edel AG. Born 1956 in Cologne, he studied musicology in Cologne and Berlin. After spending one year as a grammar school teacher, Haentjes joined the music magazine “Fachblatt” as an editor, where he wrote about such international rock giants as Genesis, Queen, the Eagles or Bob Dylan. In 1978, he founded the label IC together with the musician Klaus Schulze (Tangerine Dream). One year later, he joined WEA, where he became assistant to the then managing director Siegfried Loch.
In 1981, he was appointed general manager of Warner Home Video, a position which he held until 1984. This was followed by the position of head of marketing at Teldec GmbH, after which he founded Edel music in Hamburg as a mail order company for soundtracks in 1986. In 1987, he recruited his first employee and started releasing back catalog under license from the majors and independents. Two years later, Edel became a fully fledged record company which sold its compilations and soundtracks to retailers via its own sales and distribution team. 1991 saw the establishment of the optimal CD pressing plant as well as subsidiaries in Austria and Switzerland. In 1994, the first artists were signed. The next few years brought international expansion and a substantial increase in the product catalog, culminating in Edel AG’s stock-market flotation in 1998. Today, it is the largest independent music company in Europe. In the new millennium Haentjes started Edel’s expansion into book publishing and printing business which now comprises a number of book publishers and northern Germany’s largest fed sheet printer. Naturally, all types of digital distribution became a big part in Edel’s business in the last ten years.
Michael Haentjes was recipient of the MIDEM “Person of the Year” award in 1999 at the international MIDEM music fair. He has been a member of the international management board of the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) for many years. From October 2005 until October 2007, he was chairman of the German Phonographic Associations (IFPI, Bundesverband der Phonographischen Wirtschaft, Deutsche Phono Akademie) and reformed them into Bundesverband Musikindustrie.