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Senior management rejig at Universal Music

By | Published on Friday 30 October 2015

Universal Music

Following the departure earlier this year of digital chief Rob Wells, and the recent confirmation that Max Hole was stepping down as boss of its international division, the Universal Music Group has announced a new executive management board and senior management structure.

Just in case you wondered, the rejig is designed to “strengthen the company’s ability to operate its business across 60 countries more nimbly” and to ensure “continued growth as the most commercially successful and creatively diverse music-based media and entertainment company in the world”. Or at least that’s what boss man Lucian Grainge says.

Key new appointments include Andrew Kronfeld, previously global marketing man within Universal Music International, becoming VP Marketing for the whole group, with the task of coordinating marketing activity between the mega-major’s different regional divisions, the bosses of which will now report directly into Grainge.

On the digital side, the major has hired Michael Nash, Warner’s former digital chief who had been consulting for the mini-major again since the summer. He becomes Exec VP Digital Strategy, overseeing Universal’s digital business partnerships worldwide, which will include negotiating the next round of deals with key streaming services.

Other remit changes atop Universal including Michele Anthony adding US catalogue and Canadian operations to her area of oversight; Boyd Muir adding Bravado and Eagle Rock to his domain; and Jeffrey Harleston, chief legal man in North America, now having a global business and legal affairs role.

Says Grainge: “Universal Music is one of the world’s most powerful sources of creative and commercial opportunities for artists, labels, digital music and video services and platforms. Our continuing strength rests in our capacity to anticipate and then adapt to the rapid changes in how music is created, distributed and ultimately experienced in an environment that is at once both singularly global and regionally nuanced. As technology and business models continue to evolve, we must do the same”.

He goes on: “The new executive management board and structure will enable us to drive change throughout the organisation, meet the individual market’s unique needs and serve as the most effective partner to artists in what is more than ever a truly global business. Most importantly, this new structure will be able to accelerate the careers of our artists, by providing them with focused teams that are entrepreneurial and innovative and have the ability to seamlessly tap into the resources of the entire company. This management team represents the best the music industry has to offer – a combination of deep creative, commercial, regional and industry expertise”.