Del Bryant, BMI's long-serving president and CEO who has spent over 40 years at the organization and 10 as its head, will be succeeded by Michael O'Neill, it was announced today. O'Neill has been with BMI for 20 years and is moving to the top spot from his current position as SVP of repertoire and licensing. O'Neill's appointment was a unanimous decision by BMI's board of directors. He will assume the role of CEO on September 16 and as president in June 2014, Del Bryant's 42nd anniversary with the organization.
“I am honored that the BMI Board of Directors chose me to follow in the footsteps of two truly iconic CEOs who have led BMI for the past 28 years – Frances Preston and Del Bryant,” said Michael O’Neill in a statement. “I am also thrilled that I will have the ability to rely on Del’s counsel over the coming year as he is an exceptional executive, leader, role model and friend.”
Del Bryant announced his intentions to exit BMI in May of this year, saying at the time that considers himself "privileged to lead this company I love, one of the world’s greatest music companies. I began my career with BMI in 1972 and after four decades with the company and 10 years as CEO, I’m excited to be moving back to my hometown of Nashville where my family and I will build a farm on beautiful land purchased by my folks with money earned from their BMI catalog. I look forward to working with the board during the transition period, and to supporting the company as a consultant after retiring as CEO."
It's been an up-and-down past few months for the BMI, celebrating its biggest revenue year ever on the occasion of Bryan 'Birdman' Williams reception of BMI's Icon Award in late August. Meanwhile, in June, BMI launched a proactive suit against Pandora after their negotiations with the Internet broadcaster became "futile," as a source told Billboard at the time.