EMI has appointed its first ever head of digital strategy and has poached a key Google exec for the role.

Douglas Merrill led Google's successful stock market listing in 2004.

He will take up his post on 28 April at EMI's Los Angeles office.

The move, which is mooted as a bid by the troubled label to build up its music download business, is part of a wider recovery strategy by EMI's private equity owner Guy Hands.

He bought EMI, whose artists include Kylie Minogue, for £3.2bn last year.

Since then, he has announced plans to cut up to 2000 jobs cut to reduce costs by about £200m a year.

Hands said of his new team member: "He has been a key member of the management team at Google which has created more value than any other consumer internet company by focusing relentlessly on tools that enable consumers to do things more effectively".