James G. Caradine, Warner Executive

Sept. 5, 1938 - Dec. 26, 2018

James G. Caradine, a longtime Warner Music executive who helped launch the company internationally, died of cardiac arrest at home in Jupiter, Fla., on Dec. 26. He had a house in East Hampton starting in 2001 and was 80 years old.

In 1974, Mr. Caradine had been working for the Paris tax department of the accounting firm Arthur Andersen International, when he had the opportunity to join Warner Communications, which led to a 25-year career. According to friends, he brought to the job “a clear head for multi-jurisdictional agreements and acquisitions,” and was asked to help structure an agreement between the Brazilian soccer legend Pelé and the New York Cosmos.

 Mr. Caradine soon caught the attention of Nesuhi Ertegun of Warner’s record division, which they rebranded as Warner Music International. He ultimately became the head of the video division of the company and oversaw the signing of artists and labels, including Phil Collins, Luis Miguel, and Tommy Boy Records.

As the company expanded, so did Mr. Caradine’s role and seniority, reflecting “his invaluable contribution to W.M.I.’s growth and the esteem in which he was held,” according to a company memo. The memo calls Mr. Caradine “a Southern gentleman . . . who rose to the very top with skill and charm.” It goes on to say, “Unlike many, he knew exactly the time to retire, planning, with his usual meticulous detail his travel schedule with the many work friends he had from all corners of the world.”

After retiring, Mr. Caradine spent most of his time in East Hampton until moving to Florida in 2015.

He was born on Sept. 5, 1938, in West Point, Miss., one of two sons of Eunice Colbert Caradine and Emmett Everett Caradine. A brother, Emmett Everett Caradine Jr., died before him.

He is survived by a nephew, who is planning a memorial celebration in East Hampton in the spring. His family said “his personal style combined warmth, wit, and kindness with the cool elegance of a Cole Porter lyric.”