Executive Turntable: Moves at Spotify, Republic Records, Columbia Records & More

Courtesy of Spotify

Spotify's longtime head of global business development has shifted gears and entered the insurance field. Jorge Espinel, who joined Spotify in 2013, left the music streaming service in September to become chief business development officer at Lemonade, a tech-savvy insurance company.

"While disrupting the insurance industry might seem like a big departure from reinventing music, the similarities in context are striking," he said in blog entry on Lemonade's website. "I believe the digital principles that transformed the music industry are very similar to those that will dramatically alter the insurance industry going forward: a maniacal focus on the consumer, disruptive application of technology in core operations, ubiquitous distribution, and a desire to impact society."

Republic Records has promoted Marleny Dominguez-Reyes to senior vp of marketing, the company’s executive vp/GM Jim Roppo announced Tuesday (Oct. 2).

“Marleny has become not only a leader within Republic, but for the industry at large,” said Roppo. “Her passion and enthusiasm have galvanized the careers of so many artists here and we are thrilled to announce this well-deserved promotion.”

“After four years at this company, I’m still blown away by the tenacity of the team,” added Dominguez-Reyes. “Being part of Republic is being part of a family. We work together to vie for number one, change the game, and break records. The strategy comes from everyone. We all share the same goal to win with a lot of grace.”

Dominguez-Reyes was recognized on Billboard’s 40 Under 40 list in 2016, and more recently, on its 2018 R&B/Hip-Hop 100 Power Players list. She has proven instrumental to the sustained success of The Weeknd in addition to breaking Post Malone as a major star.

Columbia Records appointed Matt Stevens vp promotion and market strategy, on Thursday (Oct. 4). Lee Leipsner, executive vp promotion, made the announcement, and is the person that Stevens will report to in his new role.

In his new role, Stevens will continue to work closely with Columbia format executives and regional representatives to optimize promotional campaigns and break new artists. Additionally, he will collaborate with all front-line departments in the analysis of audience consumption data and develop and execute promotion strategies for the Columbia roster.

“I have watched Matt hone his promotion instincts for more than a decade,” stated Leipsner. “His skill in identifying a spark in the market and magnifying it, coupled with his ability to cultivate key relationships has made him an asset to the entire department. His unique, analytical approach to promotion will continue to serve him well in this expanded role.”

“I want to thank Lee, Jen Mallory and Ron Perry for their forward-thinking vision for Columbia,” added Stevens. “I’m thrilled to work with a team that embraces a progressive approach to promotion that’s suited to the evolving landscape. This label has an unparalleled legacy and I am extremely excited for this next chapter.”    

Caroline announced Tuesday (Oct. 2) the promotion of Brandy Contreras to the newly created position of senior vp of strategic operations. Jacqueline Saturn, Caroline's president, made the announcement and will oversee Contreras in the latter's new position.

Contreras will be tasked with strengthening and bringing enhancements to Caroline's infrastructure, streamlining administrative and communication processes with its personnel, artist and label partners and CMG management. Additionally, she will work toward increasing efficiencies among its 50-person U.S. staff, and will work closely with Saturn and executive vp Matt Sawin on strategic planning and alliances with Caroline International's 11 global offices.

"There are no words to express my excitement about welcoming Brandy into the Caroline family," Saturn said in a statement. "I have never seen an employee so respected, valued and loved immediately by all of CMG. Her wealth of knowledge and great demeanor will be of incredible value to the entire Caroline team."

"I'm thrilled and honored to be joining the Caroline team as we build on its growing success and stellar reputation for super-serving its independent artist and label partners," added Contreras. "I want to continue building the strongest, most efficient organization possible and I'm excited to be bringing my expertise in media, tech and music to my new role. I was to thank Jacqueline Saturn for providing me with this amazing opportunity and entrusting me with such an important role, Michelle Jubelirer for her invaluable mentorship and Steve Barnett for being such a visionary and offering me such unwavering support."

Mark Chipello has been promoted to vp of A&R and artist development at Position Music. The announcement comes from Tyler Bacon, CEO of the Los Angeles based company.

Chipello started at Position Music in 2011. He will continue to sign artists in addition to guiding the A&R staff members and garnering record and publishing deals for Position Music’s talent.

“I am proud to announce Mark’s promotion to the position of vice president of A&R and artist development,” said Bacon. “Mark joined Position Music seven years ago and has become an integral part of our team on every level. I trust that he will help lead the charge into more incredible signings and artist development moving forward.”

Chipello added: “I am truly honored to be a part of the team at Position Music and to be empowered and entrusted by Tyler Bacon and the rest of our incredible staff. It’s a joy to work with our talented writers, producers, bands and managers everyday to create music that changes peoples’ lives.”

Music Support -- the specialist addictions and mental health charity for the U.K. music industry -- announced the appointment of Eric Mtungwazi to the role of managing director.

Mtungwazi will be responsible for managing all aspects of the charity’s core services, staff, volunteers and day-to-day business activities, working closely with the trustees to achieve the strategy and long-term vision of the charity.

“Music Support is a hugely important support organization within the music industry offering a wide range of help and services to individuals suffering from problems arising from mental health or addiction issues,” said Mtungwazi. “My primary focus, with help from the amazing team here, will be to build on the great work and strong foundations that are already in place and to ensure that anyone who needs our help recognizes that they are not alone.”

Additionally, the organization’s co-founder, Samantha Parker, has announced that she is leaving her position at the organization to a launch a new venture, Parker Consulting, which aims to provide specialist mental health and well being expertise and advice to organizations and individuals operating in the music and entertainment sectors.

Reviver Records announced on Monday (Oct. 1) that Jim Malito has been named vp promotion for Reviver Entertainment Group. In this newly created role, Malito will work with both Reviver and 1608 promotion staff. He will report to Bob Reeves, Reviver’s svp.

"I’m excited to join Reviver, work with their talented roster and staff and contribute to their already successful business model,” said Malito.

Malito worked at Broken Bow Records for 10 years and served as national director of promotions. Previously, Malito worked for Warner Bros. Nashville as the vp for promotion and marketing.

Primary Wave announced on Friday (Oct. 5) that Patricia Joseph is the new vp of creative and synch. She will report to senior vp of creative and synch, Marty Silverstone.

“I’m very excited that Patricia has joined the Primary Wave team,” Silverstone said. “Her experience and relationships in all corners of the sync community will be very valuable as Primary Wave continues to grow.”

Joseph was the head of synch at Crush Music and helped with creative services, marketing and licensing for artists like Sia, Lorde, Green Day, Weezer and others.

FBMM (Flood, Bumstead, McCready & McCarthy, Inc.) announced on Tuesday (Oct. 2) that Paul Barnabee is joining the company as a senior staff member. His exact role and title within the company is still in the process of being finalized.

“Our FBMM family is excited to welcome Paul,” said Duane Clark, owner and vice chairman at FBMM. “Coming to us from a different side of the industry gives him a unique perspective, and FBMM’s executive team is excited to add another layer of industry expertise for our clients.”

“FBMM is known worldwide as a leader in business management, and it’s an honor to join a company of this caliber,” Barnabee said. “This firm does great work with integrity and always puts its clients first, which is incredibly important to me. It’s amazing to see the dedication and breadth of services FBMM provides. I am very excited to be a part of a team driven to help artists achieve their goals.”

Barnabee worked at Sony Music Entertainment as senior director of finance in 1995, before becoming senior vice president of marketing for Sony, in addition to RCA, Columbia and Arista Nashville in 2011.