Wit Capital Scoops Up Universal-BMG Executive

Elizabeth Schimel, who recently resigned as the general manager of getmusic.com, will soon be serving as Wit's senior vice president for business development.
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SAN FRANCISCO -- In the new economy, the corporate shuffle just gets faster and stranger all the time

The latest example of musical chairs:

Elizabeth Schimel

, who

resigned from

getmusic.com

last week, has been hired by online investment bank

Wit Capital

(WITC)

. Schimel, 38, will serve as Wit's senior vice president for business development. She will be part of Wit's general management team and its executive committee, which includes research director and former

Merrill Lynch

analyst Jonathan Cohen, founder Andrew D. Klein and co-CEOs Ronald Readmond and Robert H. Lessin, among others.

"This is a really big hire for us," says Susan Berkowitz, Wit's senior vice president of marketing. "She really gets the Internet space."

TSC

reported Monday that Schimel had stepped down from her post as VP and general manager of getmusic.com amid concerns that the site wasn't making enough progress toward selling downloadable music by the holiday shopping season.

getmusic.com is a Web-based joint venture between

Seagram

-owned

(VO) - Get Report

Universal Music

and

Bertelsmann

-owned

BMG Entertainment

. Although the venture is seen as a smart move, sources close to the situation say squabbling between executives at Universal Music and BMG Entertainment has hampered the site's development. The bickering may have also emboldened Schimel to seek a less contentious environment, say several sources familiar with the situation.

"We're disappointed she's leaving, but we wish her the best," says BMG spokesman Dennis Petroskey. "It was one of those things that was too good to pass up."

As Wit's first director of business development, Schimel will direct strategic relationships, joint ventures, research syndication and new products. Schimel, who holds an MBA from the

Wharton School of Business

, has several years of experience in finance, including a stint with

PaineWebber

(PWJ)

.

Leaving the finance world, Schimel went to work for Bertelsmann in 1991, where she directed the company's electronic publishing efforts and headed up BMG Interactive and its successor, BMG Online.

"I came to focus on the Net because I saw that as the most dynamic space," says Schimel, who will work a few more weeks at getmusic.com before heading directly over to Wit. "Besides music, the other really interesting place on the Net is financial services. That's the other area where entire businesses are being remade today."