If it’s Friday that means another spin around the Executive Turntable, Billboard’s comprehensive(ish) compendium of promotions, hirings, exits and firings — and all things in between — across the music industry.
Sony Music UK and Ireland‘s stalwart COO, Nicola Tuer, announced she is stepping down at the end of the month for family reasons. Tuer started her groundbreaking 28-year run at Sony in 1995 in the label’s sales division and rose to senior vp of commercial sales before her elevation to executive vp of the entire imprint in 2011. In 2014, Tuer earned the keys to the C-suite as the label’s first female chief operating officer — making her “one of the most senior women in the UK industry,” boasted Jason Iley, longtime CEO of SMUK&I. As COO, she has overseen the running of the U.K. and Ireland businesses, including frontline, catalog and label services, as well as sales, partnerships and other departments. “Nicola lives and breathes Sony Music,” Iley added. “She has, time and again, gone above and beyond to ensure not only that Sony succeeds, but more importantly, that our artists succeed.”
Tuer has been a near–constant presence on Billboard‘s various lists of influential executives, deservedly so, including this year’s roundup of International Power Players. The dynamic duo of Iley/Tuer were lauded for landing the top-selling single and album of 2022, with Harry Styles’ Harry’s House and his hit “As It Was.” And as head of Sony UK’s commercial group, Tuer got a shout-out for helping Wham!’s “Last Christmas” top the charts for the first time in 38 years.
Beatport promoted Charles Morgan to chief marketing officer. Morgan joined the company in early 2022 as senior vp of strategy. As CMO, Morgan will oversee marketing strategy and execution across Beatport’s suite of companies, which includes the Beatport digital download store, the open-format DJ oriented Beatsource, sample pack provider Loopcloud, software platform Plugin Boutique, label management and demo submission platforms ampsuite and LabelRadar, along with Beatport Media Group. He’ll be based out of the company’s London office and report directly to Beatport Group CEO Robb McDaniels. “Since his arrival at Beatport, Charles has been instrumental in the transformation of our brand and creative teams, playing a pivotal role in repositioning the company’s leading products,” says McDaniels. “His work has been integral to the growth we’ve seen across our various products for DJs, producers and labels.” –Katie Bain
Universal Music Greater China brought in William Hsieh as general manager of its Universal Music Taiwan unit, as well as senior vp of UMGC. Based in Taipei and starting immediately, Hsieh reports directly to UMGC chairman and CEO Timothy Xu. Hsieh joins UMG from fitness tech firm Fiture, where he served as vp of content. Prior to that, he was group vp for Space Cycle, a boutique wellness studio chain. He has also held senior positions at Electronic Arts Asia, and earlier in his career took on managerial gigs at EMI Music and Sony Music Greater China. The Taiwan-born, SoCal-raised Hsieh got his education in New York — at Columbia and NYU. Xu pegs Hsieh as being “perfectly positioned to spearhead our business expansion, innovation, and growth for the Taiwan market,” adding the island nation’s “pop music culture holds an indispensable value in the wider Chinese music scene.”
HFA/Rumblefish promoted Lauren Apolito to executive vice president of strategy & business development. She was previously senior vp at the synch licensing company, which is part of SESAC. Apolito joined HFA (The Harry Fox Agency) way back in 2001 and stayed on board when the venerable rights management agency was scooped up by SESAC in 2015. The company said that in the last year alone, Apolito’s efforts have “fueled revenue growth, client diversification, licensing opportunities and a new service offering” at Rumblefish. Apolito, a 2019 digital power player, has also focused on simplifying direct licensing deals between publishers and distributors. “She operates at the intersection of music, data and technology and has leveraged seismic industry changes into new revenue opportunities and streamlined administration for both rightsholders and music distributors,” glowed HFA/Rumblefish president Michael Simon. “We’re thrilled to expand her role with this well-deserved promotion.” Reach her at [email protected].
Big Machine Music has promoted Michelle Attardi to the role of senior director, publishing. Since joining Big Machine Music (a division of HYBE America) seven years ago, Attardi has been central in the signing of songwriters Daniel Ross, Matt Roy, Troy Cartwright and Geoff Warburton to the BMM roster, and has secured cuts with Jon Pardi, Lady A, Jason Aldean, Jake Owen and Mitchell Tenpenny, among others. –Jessica Nicholson
Oak View Group appointed Kristina Heney as executive vp of marketing, media & conferences. As evp of mmc, Heney will handle all marketing and communications for OVG and oversee its media and conferences division — which includes the Pollstar and VenuesNow media brands. She joins the OVG family following a five-year stint at Cirque du Soleil and before that, a 15-year tenure at MSG. Before that, she worked in merchandising at the NBA. “With her deep understanding of the live events and experiential industry, we are confident Kristina can continue our substantial growth momentum while transforming the OVG brand story and our Media and Conferences Division to support OVG and our growth vision,” said president of biz dev Francesca Bodie, to whom she’ll report along with OVG360 president Chris Granger.
SGPS/ShowRig elevated live industry veteran Ned Collett to president of the Las Vegas-based production company. Collett joined SGPS/ShowRig in 2022 following the passing of founder Eric Pearce. As president, he’ll oversee and direct all activities for the company’s global operations, which now includes its first European office, located in Utrecht, Netherlands. Collett was previously Midwest president of LiveStyle, and has also held roles at Oak View Group, Live Nation Entertainment and Base Entertainment, among others. “I am proud to continue Eric Pearce’s guiding principles of always demonstrating boundless creativity and providing exceptional client service,” Collett said. “I am honored to be the person charged with incorporating that philosophy while simultaneously bringing the company forward with new technologies, partners, European expansion, and domestic growth.”
Feed.fm, the business-to-business music streaming platform, hired Ryan Morris as its new director of engineering. At Feed.fm, Morris will lead expansion efforts as the company works to meet demand for a scalable, effective platform for providing music for businesses. Morris was most recently director of software engineering at Slack, which experienced massive growth during his six-year tenure as more businesses turned to remote work. Prior to Slack, Morris was an engineering manager at Pandora. “Ryan’s part of a new breed of technologist in the B2B music space who has a unique mix of high growth tech platform leadership experience alongside a deep understanding of the music industry,” said Jeff Yasuda, CEO of Feed Media Group. “His addition will strengthen Feed.fm’s position to become the leader in a new category of turnkey music solutions for the world’s top brands.”
Entertainment lawyer Zachary Bohlender officially launched Charta, a new company with a mission to modernize and automate the logjam-prone process of getting clearance agreements done quickly so that, ultimately, artists can release music faster. Bohlender’s platform, cofounded with Arash Rashidi, an engineer with a background in AI, aims to distill producer and side-artist agreements to a few key provisions that can be quickly negotiated and then slotted into standardized contracts. “There’s no single bigger pain point in the industry than clearance agreements,” Bohlender said. Charta investors and advisors include Che Pope, Matt Colon, Aloe Blacc, Boys Noize and Milana Lewis of Stem, who calls it “an incredibly powerful tool towards building a better future where artists can be paid more expediently and accurately.”
ASM Global‘s new vice president of live entertainment is Alex Bowen, a familiar player in Louisiana’s entertainment industry. In his new job, Bowen will oversee content and bookings for ASM venues in New Orleans, including the Caesars Superdome and Smoothie King Center, along with the new Thunder Ridge Nature Arena in Missouri’s Ozark region. He’ll also handle bookings for venues across the Southeast U.S. region. Bowen arrives from Live Nation, where he was a senior talent buyer in multiple markets.
Round, the creative digital agency with a client list that includes the Big Three labels and a slew of festivals and events companies, promoted Simon Friend to chief operating officer and Ray Uscata to managing director of North and South America. “The importance and power of digital marketing is growing exponentially and is now an integral part of the way in which consumer facing brands engage with their audiences; but it is a competitive marketplace that demands specialist expertise and tools to achieve cut through,” said Round CEO Aaron Sayer.