Kobalt Music Group has recruited EMI publishing executive Benjamin Groff to a new senior post at the firm's expanding L.A. office. The incoming Kobalt executive's signings, song pitches or collaborati

Kobalt Music Group has recruited EMI publishing executive Benjamin Groff to a new senior post at the firm's expanding L.A. office.

As senior VP of creative, Groff will be tasked with handling the independent music publishing firm's west coast writer relations, catalog/artist acquisitions and creative development.

He will report jointly to Kobalt founder/CEO Willard Ahdritz and executive VP of creative affairs Sas Metcalfe. Both are London-based.

Until now, Groff has served at EMI Music Publishing in Los Angeles as senior creative director. Prior to joining EMI five years ago, he was creative director at BMG Music Publishing.

"As a real songman, Benjamin has a number of successful years behind him," comments Ahdritz in a statement. "He is well known in the writer/producer community and has been securing some of the biggest cuts in the world."

The incoming Kobalt executive's signings, song pitches or collaborations have resulted in seven top 10 U.S. singles and six top 5 U.K. singles to date, according to the independent music publishing firm.

Groff is credited with having signed and developed such songwriters as Savan Kotecha, who wrote "American Idol" winner Carrie Underwood's hit U.S. single "Inside Your Heaven" which topped the Billboard Hot 100 July 2 2005. Kotecha has also had songs recorded by Il Divo, Celine Dion, Westlife, Enrique Iglesias, and Lindsay Lohan.

The hiring of Groff comes as Kobalt expands its base of operations in the United States and centralizes its American operations in Los Angeles. A number of full-time new U.S. hires are expected to be announced in the coming weeks, including the appointment of an executive VP/GM.

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