UK Music CEO Michael Dugher Stepping Down for Role at Gambling Trade Org

London, England.
Tamboly/Getty Images

London, England.

Current deputy CEO Tom Kiehl will take over the top job in the interim.

LONDON — UK Music CEO Michael Dugher has announced that he's stepping down from the umbrella trade organization after almost three years at the helm.   

Dugher was appointed CEO of UK Music in April 2017, having previously spent seven years as a Labour politician, including serving as Shadow Secretary of State for the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).   

During his time at the head of UK Music, Dugher was a passionate advocate for the British music industry, campaigning to protect grass roots live venues and spearheading the U.K. music industry's push to get the EU Copyright Directive passed.  

His reign as CEO also a saw a focus on increasing the provision of music education in British schools and the establishment of regional music boards across the country.

"It has been an immense privilege to serve as CEO at UK Music for nearly three years. We have achieved great things for an industry that makes a huge and positive contribution to our country," said Dugher, who leaves the organisation at the end of January to become CEO of the Betting and Gaming Council.

Current deputy CEO Tom Kiehl will take over as acting CEO in the new year, while the process of recruiting a new chief executive takes place.

"I have no doubt that UK Music will only go from strength to strength and I wish the organisation, its members and the new acting CEO Tom Kiehl every success in the future," said Dugher.

Paying tribute to the outgoing CEO, UK Music Chairman Andy Heath said he was sorry to "lose a man who has helped give the music industry in the U.K. a presence, influence and reputation, which it thoroughly deserves, but has not always in the past been able to communicate."

Similar sentiments were expressed by MPA chair Roberto Neri and PRS for Music CEO Andrea Martin, who said Dugher's successes, "particularly in copyright reform and protections for small venues," had enhanced and strengthened the U.K. music industry.    

"Michael has represented the music industry with vigour and intelligence," added Horace Trubridge, general secretary of Musicians' Union. "His tireless campaigning for grassroots music venues has made a real difference to the gig circuit. We will miss his good humour and boundless energy."