Chairman/CEO, Sony Music Entertainment U.K. & Ireland

A committed A&R policy was always the likely game plan of a label group head who used to be in a successful band. Former Dexy’s Midnight Runners saxophonist Nick Gatfield’s first two years as Sony U.K. & Ireland chairman/CEO have seen him refocus the company’s front-line labels—Columbia, RCA, Epic and Syco Music—on the best, and most exportable, artist talent. That time has also included the launch of the Sony Associated label division, which harnesses the energy of numerous external A&R sources. It includes a suite of such labels as Phonogenic, Search & Destroy, Xenomania, Ultra and Relentless. Gatfield cites such 2013 success stories under the new structure as Laura Mvula, Tom Odell and Kodaline—all of whom followed appearances in critics’ new year polls a year ago with chart honors—the progression of Olly Murs and Calvin Harris to international acclaim and innovative campaigns behind Daft Punk, David Bowie and Miley Cyrus. 2014 priorities include Chloe Howl, George Ezra, Say Lou Lou, MØ, Amber Run and Hobbie Stuart. “Investing in the best talent and connecting their music with fans all over the world and on multiple platforms is what we do,” Gatfield says, “and we did it well in 2013. We’ve proved we’re back in business.” —Paul Sexton