Executive Turntable: Moves at Warner Bros. Records, Blackberry Records, Kobalt & More

Warner Bros. Records Logo
Courtesy of Warner Bros. Records

Warner Bros. Records Logo

Warner Bros. Records has promoted Ben Larsen to senior vp international marketing, the company announced March 25. He will remain headquartered in the label’s Los Angeles office and report to Warner Bros. co-chairman and chief operating officer Tom Corson.

“Since coming on board at WBR, I have been continually impressed by Ben’s deep understanding of both the overall global marketplace as well as the cultures and musical trends that are unique to individual territories around the world,” said Corson in a statement. “With more global possibilities opening up than ever before, Ben and his team are perfectly positioned to create innovative, boundary-crossing opportunities for our artists. I’m very pleased to welcome him to his much-deserved new post.”

On April 1, Doug Williams is retiring as president of Blackberry Records after 28 years as head of the gospel label.

“We’ve had an incredible 28 years and made some history along the way. However, God is leading me in other directions at this time in my life." said Williams of his decision in a statement. “As of now, the future of the company is to be determined, however, we’ll make an official announcement once that decision has been made.”

George Cappellini, Jr. has been promoted to vp radio promotion and artist development at Entertainment One (eOne), the company announced March 28. In the new position, he will relocate to eOne’s Nashville office and continue reporting to senior vp rock and metal Scott Givens.

“George is a tireless executive who has helped build eOne’s rock business since he arrived here eight years ago," said Givens in a statement. “This promotion could not be more well-deserved. His move to our Nashville office will only help strengthen our partnership with G&G [Entertainment Consultants] as we look towards continued success together.”

Redeye announced a number of promotions and hirings to expand its North American team on March 28.

Jonathan Elder has been promoted to the newly-created position of global digital manager while Kathryn Berry will be the company’s new Canadian territory manager. The two will be based in Toronto and Montreal, respectively.

Additionally, Hannah Silk Champagne has been hired by the company as a digital account representative and will be based in New York City.

PRS For Music’s Paul Dilorito has been named chair of the board of DDEX, the international standards-setting organization announced on March 25.

“As we move beyond song downloads and streams into a new era of music data exchange involving voice, A.I., stems and additional layers of creator metadata, Paul’s varied experience will be extraordinarily useful at the helm of the DDEX Board,” said Kirit Joshi, senior vp and chief information officer at Sony Music Entertainment, himself a former chair of DDEX. “As a Board member for over six years, he has already been one of the chief exponents of DDEX, taking an ever increasing role in improving the industry wide operational landscape.”

“I am honored to have been elected by the Board to be the Chair of DDEX,” added Dilorito. “In just over a decade since the release of its first standards, DDEX has been the underpinning of music and related data delivery systems around the world. However, there is still much work to do to continue to streamline current structures as well as expand into new formats and data types. It’s exciting to be at the center of the dynamic, multi-faced market that is the global music industry.”

Tye Worobess has been named Ole’s new manager of communications, the company announced on March 26. She will be based at Ole’s Toronto headquarters and report to senior director of marketing Sylvia Lindae.

In her new role, Worobess will be responsible for both internal and external corporate communications, as well as publicity support for Ole's roster of artists and divisions. 

Music Canada announced a series of new executive team appointments on March 28. Jackie Dean has been named the company’s newly created chief operating officer while Patrick Rogers has been promoted to vp corporate affairs. Sarah Hashem has also been promoted to vice president of strategic initiatives.

“The new appointments represent another important step in implementing the conclusions of our 2018 governance review,” said Music Canada president and CEO Graham Henderson in a statement. “They demonstrate our commitment to promoting equity, diversity and inclusion, and to meeting our goals for accountability and transparency. The result is a streamlined organizational structure that positions us to achieve the objectives set by our Board.”

Kobalt Music Publishing has promoted Jamie Kinelski to vp creative, the company announced March 28. Kinelski will be based in the publisher’s L.A. office.

“Jamie is the ultimate team player and that quality has earned her the trust and respect of artists and songwriters,” said chief creative officer Sas Metcalfe in a statement. “I’m thrilled with the outstanding success she is having with her signings and collaboration with Kobalt clients. Her most recent promotion is well earned.”

“I have worked with Jamie since our days at ASCAP,” added Kobalt GM Sue Drew, “and it is a joy to see her develop into a successful executive. Her signings show the diversity of her musical tastes and their potential is limitless.”

Kate Shepherd has been hired as managing director of entertainment programming for Warner Music UK, the company announced March 29. Shepherd will be based in London and report to chief operating officer Peter Breeden and chief transformation officer Mel Fox. In the new role, she will also oversee the operational management of The Firepit, Warner Music UK’s in-house creative and production company.

“Artists and songs have amazing stories to tell and to inspire, and we’re bringing those stories to life through compelling, immersive visual experiences,” said Breeden in a statement. “We’re living in a visual culture, and Kate’s boundless enthusiasm, musical sensibility, and business savvy make her the perfect person to take our creative mission to the next level.”