Among the local ties to New York-based Warner Music Group Corp., bands such as Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. might come to mind -- but not likely one of the company's top executives.
Mike Jbara, president and CEO of WEA Corp., the U.S. sales and retail marketing company of Warner Music, grew up in Westland.
He has played trumpet in a range of bands, though his early career path was more science than music. He graduated from the University of Michigan in 1987 with a degree in mechanical engineering.
Finding his way to New York, he worked forAndersen Consulting from 1987 to 1995. In 1996, he started at Warner, and in 2009 was named president and CEO of WEA.
But he comes back to his hometown regularly, and he remains on the hunt for new talent. His favorite local spots are The Magic Bag in Ferndale, and PJ's Lager House, The Shelter, St. Andrew's Hall, UDetroit CafÃ© and Northern Lights in Detroit.
In March, Jbara was among the keynote speakers at Crain's Idea: Detroit Conference, where he said he admires the drive Detroiters have to improve their city.
"There is no taking Detroit out of someone who grew up here," he says. "I feel that I have an obligation, both personally and professionally, to articulate to others what makes Detroit such a special place."
Crain's Music Issue: The complete report