Kevin Kelleher, Dennis Kooker & Julie Swidler: The 2015 Billboard Power 100
NO. 54

Kevin Kelleher, Dennis Kooker & Julie Swidler

Kelleher: 56: Executive vp/CFO, Sony Music Entertainment


Kooker: 47, President of global digital business and U.S. sales, Sony Music Entertainment


Swidler: 56, Executive vp business affairs/general counsel, Sony Music Entertainment

Last year's rank:
Kelleher & Kooker: --; Swidler: 22

With CD sales plummeting for the 10th straight year and digital download revenue in decline in 2014, these three executives have been instrumental in keeping SME's financials strong. Through the integration of its 2004 merger with BMG, Sony has cut $1 billion in overhead during the last decade while keeping annual revenue relatively stable in recent years at approximately $3 billion. Kelleher monitors SME's bottom line, Swidler blesses the deals that keep the music flowing, Kooker ensures consumers can easily acquire those creative assets, and all three seek out new revenue streams and find ways to grow existing ones. In December, SME cut a deal with China's Internet portal Tencent to promote and distribute its acts in that country. If piracy there can be contained, Kooker says, "this deal can change the market in China ... and establish its legitimacy so that it's meaningful to the overall industry." 

GREATEST ACCOMPLISHMENT: "Helping to plan the Woodstock festival that celebrated the 25th anniversary." -- Swidler

BUSINESS ROLE MODEL: "Jack Welch." -- Kooker

MEMORABLE ARTIST ENCOUNTER: "Spending time talking with Bruce Springsteen about family backstage at a show in Cleveland." -- Kelleher