Michael Taylor and Darren Aboud rise at Universal Music Australia as part of a restructuring at the music major. Taylor and About are appointed joint managing directors for Universal Music Labels Australia, the division that includes the leading record labels Island, Mercury, Modular, Polydor, IDJ,USM, Republic and Interscope.
With effect from June 4, the Sydney-based executive pair will be responsible for the international labels, domestic, strategic and promotion teams within Universal Music Labels Australia. They’ll jointly oversee marketing and promotion, as well as the creative focus for its stable of artists.
In these newly-created roles, Taylor and Aboud report to George Ash, president, Universal Music Asia Pacific. Universal Music Australia’s EMI label group continues as a separate unit alongside Universal Music Labels Australia, and is guided by John O’Donnell who also reports to Ash.
“We are both very excited to bring this re-launch of Universal Music Australia to the market,” Taylor and Aboud jointly comment in a statement. “We would like to thank George for the opportunity and for believing in us.” Creating a stand-alone label for Universal Music Australia, they say, “will give us a more efficient, creative, nimble and entrepreneurial music company, that can harness the collective resources of our entire organization to better serve our artists, their music and their creative talents.”
For Taylor, the new role builds on his existing duties for overseeing A&R at UMA and as head of the Australian company’s Island Records label. The U.S.-born executive moved to Australia in 2001 when he joined Sony as head of A&R for Sony Music. At Sony Music, Taylor worked on Delta Goodrem’s giant hit “Innocent Eyes” album, which has sold more than four million units worldwide. He’s also had A&R stints in the U.S. with Columbia Records and at Madonna’s Maverick Recording Company.
For Aboud, the promotion adds to his existing duties as head of marketing for UMA. A company stalwart with more than 20 years' experience, Aboud has served for Universal Music as VP of U.S. repertoire at Universal Music International in London, VP of international marketing at Universal Asia Pacific in Hong Kong and GM of marketing at UMA.
"Both Mike and Darren are true music people who have forged entrepreneurial and creative visions for our company,” explains Ash. “To have them now running Universal Music and sprinkling their magic dust across the business is fantastic, I couldn’t be more excited.”
Ash was himself promoted last year, when he added stripes for the Asia Pacific region. Ash became president of Universal Music Australasia in 2010, having previously served as managing director of Universal Music Australia since 2001.