Nonesuch Records has hired industry veteran Kris Chen as the label's senior vice president in charge of A&R, Billboard has learned. Chen, previously head of U.S. operations at XL Recordings, will have his hand in all areas of the Warner Music Group imprint, especially the signing and developing of new and established artists. He excelled at that task during his 11 years at XL, where he signed and/or worked closely with Vampire Weekend, Sigur Ros, Tyler the Creator and many others.
Based in New York City, Chen will report to Nonesuch co-president David Bither, who will assume sole presidency at the label in January following last year's decision by Bob Hurwitz to transition to an emeritus role after 32 years at the helm. Bither says in an announcement that he almost immediately thought of Chen when it came time to add a new piece to the label's executive team.
"I've known Kris for more than a decade and have regarded him from the start as a fellow traveler," says Bither. "His success over the years at XL provides ample evidence of his ability but it is his convictions about music and culture that have always impressed me even more. I'm delighted that he is joining us and believe it speaks to our ambition to build on the course that Nonesuch has charted, today and in the years to come."