Coronavirus

SOCAN Chief Eric Baptiste Abruptly Exits Canadian Performance Rights Org

Eric Baptiste
Steve Carty

Eric Baptiste

Eric Baptiste, CEO of the Society of Composers, Authors & Music Publishers of Canada (SOCAN), resigned effective immediately on Tuesday (April 14) after more than a decade of leading the Canadian performing rights organization.

“With the end of the current CEO contract approaching, Eric thought it was time to move on and a mutual decision was reached with the Board to end his tenure now,” reads a SOCAN press release announcing Baptiste’s departure.

Added Marc Ouellette, president and chair of SOCAN's board of directors: "We thank Eric Baptiste for his leadership over the past 10 years. During this time, SOCAN has seen growth and has maintained its presence as a leader in serving music creators and publishers in Canada and around the world."

Jennifer Brown, senior vp operation and reproduction rights, will act as interim CEO until a permanent replacement is found. She has been with SOCAN for more than 20 years and on the executive team for nearly 10 years, previously as vice president of the licensing department.

According to SOCAN, the decision is “purely coincidental” to the current coronavirus -crisis.

SOCAN -- whose members includes more than 160,000 songwriters, composers, music publishers and visual artists -- continues to operate at full capacity abiding by the country’s work-from-home orders.

In early April, SOCAN announced a 2 million Canadian dollars ($1.44 million) fund to assist “struggling members” by advancing royalties as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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