BMG Execs Resign Post-Napster

The firestorms surrounding that little Internet music-swapping company have been flamed again.

A week ago, German entertainment giant Bertelsmann AG announced that it was joining forces with the song-swap company Napster Inc., but apparently not everyone liked the idea.

Reuters now reports that the chairman and CEO of Bertelsmann’s BMG Entertainment music division have both resigned.

Michael Dornemann, 55, will leave his position as chairman of BMG Entertainment in late June, while BMG President and Chief Executive Strauss Zelnick, 43, will leave his post Dec. 31.

“I respect the new generation at the company, but there’s a different viewpoint,” Dornemann told Reuters in an interview Sunday.

The word is that both Dornemann and Zelnick weren’t happy with the company’s decision to restructure their positions and diminish BMG Entertainment’s oversight in the television and Internet areas.

Zelnick reportedly still had 2 ½ years left on his contract and was given a severance packaged valued at $20 million to $50 million.