SoundExchange executive director John Simson will leave the organization at the end of this year. By staying to the end of the year, it will allow the SoundExchange Board time to seek a replacement and also help in the transition to the new leadership.

"After 10 years of working with digital services, we've achieved many of our important goals," according to a statement from Simson, who helped build the organization as its first hire. "We've established fair rates for performers and labels and built the largest performer and recording label society in the world."

Tommy Boy founder and SoundExchange board member Tom Silverman noted that Simson and his team "have built from nothing, the first true coalition of artists and indies and majors working towards the same goal."

After stepping down, Simson said he would return to creative pursuits. According to his SoundExchange biography, Simson has been involved in the music industry since 1971 as songwriter, recording artist, manager, entertainment lawyer and executive. Along the way, he picked up an Emmy nomination for his music supervision of the PBS Special "American Roots Music;" served as executive producer of the PBS Special, "Jubilee: Mary Chapin Carpenter Live at Wolf Trap;" and served as a manager of artists who have won 6 Grammys and sold over 10 million CDs.

In other SoundExchange news, the Simson announcement also noted that in the past 10 months the organization, which collects royalties from satellite and Internet radio, cable TV music channels and other services streaming sound recordings, had distributed over $220 million to performers and record labels.

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