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MAMA confirms that founder James has departed

By | Published on Tuesday 28 January 2014

MAMA & Company

Live music firm MAMA & Company has confirmed that co-founder Dean James is leaving the business “to focus on his outside interests”. As previously reported, James stood down as CEO of the company, in something of a surprise move, last August.

James co-founded MAMA in 2005 with business partner Adam Driscoll, morphing the Channelfly company that had grown out of the Barfly venue in Camden in the late 1990s into a multi-disciplined music firm, with interests in venue management, tour and festival promotion, artist management, and brand and media partnerships.

MAMA was then acquired in 2010 by HMV, becoming the live and talent division of the ailing retailer. Driscoll departed at this point, but James stayed on to lead the business as an HMV division before, three years later, realising that HMV was now ailing into oblivion, spearheading a management buy-out that put MAMA, minus its Hammersmith Apollo venue, back into independent ownership.

The MAMA & Company that James leaves behind continues to run a network of venues around the UK, as well as operating a tour and festival promotion business, which stages or has interests in events like Wilderness, Lovebox, Global Gathering and The Great Escape. The services side of the firm continues to offer music-focused brand, production and media services, in addition to owning monthly music mag The Fly.

Confirming James’ departure yesterday, the company told CMU: “MAMA has confirmed that Dean James has decided to leave the business. Having steered the business out of HMV in 2012 and back into independent ownership he has decided to focus on his outside interests. Dean has played a key role throughout the life of MAMA in its various forms having originally founded the business in 2005. The MAMA board thanks Dean for his contribution and wishes him well for the future”.

Details about the senior management structure at MAMA moving forward are expected in due course, though the firm said it had no further comment at this time.