Sony Music Nashville chairman Joe Galante is leaving the company but will remain in charge of its Nashville operations until his successor is named, he announced Wednesday (April 14). He will also serve as a consultant during the transfer of leadership. Sony Music Nashville includes four country record labels -- RCA, BNA, Columbia and Arista Nashville -- and an artist roster that includes Carrie Underwood, Kenny Chesney, Alan Jackson, Brooks & Dunn, Brad Paisley, Martina McBride, Kellie Pickler, Miranda Lambert and Sara Evans, among others. "This is solely my decision, and I'm excited to begin my journey down another road," Galante said in a written statement. Shortly after graduating from Fordham University in 1971, Galante joined RCA as a budget analyst in its New York office. He was transferred to Nashville in 1973 and worked with RCA executives Chet Atkins and Jerry Bradley. In 1982, he became head of RCA Nashville. He spent the early '90s in New York as president of RCA Records Label U.S., where his artist signings included the Dave Matthews Band and Wu-Tang Clan. Returning to Nashville in 1994, he was named chairman of the RCA Label Group Nashville. BMG (RCA's parent company) and Sony Music merged in 2004.