Evan Lamberg, President of Universal Music Publishing Group in North America, today announced the promotion of Monti Olson to Executive Vice President/Head of Pop & Rock Music, Creative; and David Kokakis to Senior Vice President, Head of Business & Legal Affairs/Business Development.
Both will report directly to Lamberg and be based in the company's headquarters in Santa Monica, California. Tom Sturges, EVP/Head of Creative, and Robert Allen, SVP/Head of Business and Legal Affairs, will be leaving the company to pursue other opportunities.
In his new role, Olson will be jointly heading up the company's U.S. creative teams (Los Angeles and New York), along with Ethiopia Habtemariam, Executive Vice President/Head of Urban Music. Mr. Olson will be overseeing the company's Pop and Rock creative operations.
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"Monti has proven himself to be an exceptional music publisher with great creative relationships. This leadership role and promotion is well deserved and I know Monti, along with Ethiopia Habtemariam, will continue to lead the Universal Music Publishing creative team on its continued successful path," said Lamberg.
"I am humbled by this appointment. I thank Evan for his confidence and belief in me," said Olson. "We have the most talented creative staff in the music publishing business here at UMPG, it is my vision that together we will make UMPG the absolute desired home for authors and composers."
Olson's signings include Christopher "Tricky" Stewart (hit-maker at the helm of RedZone Entertainment, responsible for over 25 millions albums sold); Ari Levine of the songwriting and production team The Smeezingtons (2011 Grammy winners for Producer of the Year, whom Mr. Olson co-signed along with UMPG's Ethiopia Habtemariam); All-American Rejects (over 10 million records sold world-wide); All Time Low; Chris Daughtry; the Matrix (seven-time Grammy-nominated songwriters and producers); and Damian Marley (three-time Grammy award winner). Olson was previously Vice President of A&R at Universal Music Publishing Group, and before UMPG was Vice President of A&R at BMG Songsm where he headed the pop creative operations and was responsible for all pop and urban creative administration matters; prior to that he held posts at peermusic, Windswept Pacific Music and MCA Records.
Kokakis will direct the company's Business Affairs operations in North America, which includes overseeing all contract negotiations and legal matters concerning new and existing songwriter signings, monitoring all copyright infringement matters, and negotiating new digital media agreements.
"David has proven himself not only to be a great business affairs executive and leader, but a great team player who, in his new role, will be able to use his overall skill set to work with all departments within Universal Music Publishing Group. This is a well deserved promotion," said Lamberg.
"I am deeply honored that Evan has entrusted me with this responsibility and look forward to working more closely with the most talented publishing team in the world," said Mr. Kokakis. "I am proud of our achievements thus far and enthusiastic about tackling the challenges we have ahead of us."
During Mr. Kokakis' tenure with the company, he has negotiated exclusive publishing agreements for independent music giant Cash Money Records and its publishing affiliate Money Mack Music; Glassnote Entertainment/Four Song Night Publishing; GloJoe Music (the music publishing enterprise of Vincent Herbert that signed Lady Gaga's collaborator DJ White Shadow; Aware Records (Gregg Latterman); Desmond Child (songwriter and/or producer of more than seventy Top 40 singles); Philip Lawrence (of the hit-making production trio The Smeezingtons); and Jackie Evancho (of "America's Got Talent, named the top selling debut artist of 2010), among many others.