BMI Nashville Executive Jody Williams Stepping Down

Jody Williams
Courtesy of BMI

Jody Williams

Longtime BMI executive Jody Williams announced on Wednesday he'll be leaving the performing rights org at the end of the year. Williams has held the title of vice president of creative in Nashville since 2006 -- a role that saw him boost BMI’s market share among country songwriters and lead the creation of a new office in the roots-and-live-music hotbed of Austin.

The company said Williams will stay on in a consultancy role throughout 2020 as he plots a return to the industry terrain he navigated before joining BMI 13 years ago -- music publishing. Additionally, a successor in the vp of creative role will be announced at a later date.

"When Jody and I first discussed this possibility over a year ago, I understood his desire to return to his other love of music publishing, but I also knew that BMI would miss his passion, creativity and unwavering support for songwriters and publishers," said Mike O'Neill, BMI’s president and CEO. "Jody has worked for BMI three different times in his career and his impact on BMI has been profound. I am grateful for his support and friendship and know he will have tremendous success."

During his time at BMI, Williams has worked closely with a host of songwriters including Maren Morris, Josh Turner, Liz Rose, Robert Earl Keen and Kix Brooks, among others. He notably oversaw the creation of BMI’s Nashville-based Partnerships and Events department.

A Nashville native, this was actually Williams’ third tour at BMI. He first began working there in the 1970s as a mail clerk before venturing off into the world of music publishing, where he worked for a number of firms before returning to BMI in 1987, rising to assistant vp, writer/publisher relations. He left again to lead the Nashville division of MCA Music Publishing before founding his own publishing firm, Jody Williams Music. Later, he sold his company to Olé, now Anthem Entertainment, and re-re-joined BMI.

"The greatest honor of my career has been representing BMI’s Nashville family of songwriters and publishers," said Williams. "I have always strived to carry forward the incredible example of BMI’s former CEOs Frances Preston and Del Bryant, who taught so many of us how to care for songwriters.  That inspiration, coupled with the support of Mike O’Neill and the BMI team, allowed us to thrive over the past decade.  I am forever grateful."


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