Tony Wadsworth To Step Down As Chairman of BPI & BRIT Awards

Tony Wadsworth has announced he will step down as chairman of the BPI and BRIT Awards Limited by the end of the year.

"After almost seven years in the role, I have decided to make 2014 my final year as chairman of BPI and BRIT Awards Ltd,” Wadsworth says in a statement. “It has been a real privilege to be so involved in industry issues over this period of radical change and transformation and to sit around the Council table with colleagues who have such an amazing wealth of knowledge, experience and passion for our business.”

Wadsworth’s announcement comes just days after the British record industry veteran ruled out a return at the helm of a major label, with Sony Music U.K.

The decorated former head of EMI’s U.K. activities has a busy schedule outside his BPI duties. He chairs the environmental organization Julie’s Bicycle, he serves as non-executive director of the BIMM group of colleges, he’s visiting professor at University of Newcastle-on-Tyne, and he sits on the board of music development agency Generator, which promotes the music industry in the north east of England.

Wadsworth is also a trustee of the EMI Music Sound Foundation, a charity devoted to improving young people's access to music education, and a trustee of the EMI Archive Trust. 

"In recent years since leaving EMI, in addition to my BPI activities, I have enjoyed getting involved in several new ventures, commercial and non-commercial, but all music related,” Wadsworth notes. “ By relinquishing my duties at the BPI, I hope to make more time available to focus on these and selectively add to the portfolio.”

Wadsworth first joined the BPI Council in 1998 when representing EMI Music U.K. & Ireland. He took on the BPI Council Chair in 2007.  The following year he’d left EMI, though he continued chairing the Council in the new capacity of BPI chairman. 

During his fifteen year tenure as a BPI Council member, Wadsworth also served as chairman of the BRITs Committee for three years (2001 to 2003), directing and overseeing the BRIT Awards during the period. His services to the music industry were recognized in 2011 when Wadsworth was appointed Commander of the British Empire in the Queen's Birthday Honours list.

“Tony’s wise counsel and experience have helped us to navigate radical changes in the industry and to steer the business towards a future which feels genuinely brighter and full of possibilities,” comments BPI CEO Geoff Taylor in a statement.

Wadsworth will work with the BPI Council on appointing a successor, and he’ll continue in the role for the time being. An announcement regarding his departure date and succession will be made in due course, according to the BPI.