Former AEG Live CEO Randy Phillips has been tapped as CEO of Global Entertainment, a newly-launched U.S. division for London-based Global, the Media and Entertainment Group. The multifaceted, "360"-styled content company will include touring, label, publishing, artist management, branding/sponsorships and marketing divisions, with new headquarters based in Los Angeles and a London office.
Touting a "real 360 content creation company that genuinely offers a vast array of services to artists, combined with Global's financial commitment," Phillips believes the Global model is the way of the future. "I believe that within three to five years, all of the major labels that exist will look like Global," he tells Billboard.
Global Radio is the U.K.'s largest commercial radio company, with national stations in every genre. Global founder/executive president Ashley Tabor has used this base to create an entertainment company that now includes Global Television and Global Publishing (Ellie Goulding, Corinne Bailey Rae, LMFAO), with the latter to be part of the Global Entertainment U.S. division under Phillips.
Phillips comes to Global Entertainment after 13 years as CEO at AEG Live, where he promoted world tours by artists such as Justin Timberlake, Bon Jovi, Justin Bieber, Kanye West, Jennifer Lopez, Enrique Iglesias, Rod Stewart, and Prince. He oversaw the expansion of AEG Live's Festival Division (Coachella, Stagecoach, New Orleans Jazzfest) and produced films featuring Michael Jackson, Bieber and Katy Perry. In his diverse music-biz career, Phillips also managed or co-managed Stewart, Toni Braxton, Lionel Richie and Usher, and, with former partner Arnold Steifel, launched the Gasoline Alley imprint in a joint venture with MCA.
Phillips became a major player on a global stage at AEG Live, overseeing a network of regional offices and working with such ongoing subsidiaries as Goldenvoice, Concerts West, and TMG-AEG Live. Virtually out of the gate, AEG became a global touring deal competitor to Live Nation (albeit on a significantly smaller scale), with creative marketing and promotion for a wide range of touring clients. Phillips left AEG Live amid massive restructuring at the firm following the resignation of former AEG CEO Tim Lieweke, with his departure coming in a year where the firm reported best-ever Boxscore grosses totaling $1.1 billion.
Since his exit from AEG Live, the typically outspoken, highly visible Phillips has been noticeably absent from the music scene. He tells Billboard he actually signed his deal with Global on April 1 of last year, and has spent the interim fine-tuning the model and building a roster of executive talent. "Doing a startup is different than stepping into an existing job," Phillips says, pointing out that he has launched similar ground-up businesses in AEG Live and Gasoline Alley. "Building a business from scratch is like putting together a puzzle, the pieces all have to fit. You can't just hire people because they have great resumes, they have to be able to work with the other people you bring in."
In that regard, Phillips has hired a team of industry pros, including executive vp/chief financial officer Chuck Ciongoli, formally of Universal music; longtime Phillips associate David Loeffler as chief creative officer; and business affairs executive Rand Hoffman. In addition, executive vice president and urban music head Garnett March brings in his own multi-faceted joint venture entertainment company in Global/The Chemists, which steers the career of Anthony Lewis. Other senior executives are also already in place, and will be announced shortly.
In the U.K., Global boasts national radio stations in virtually every genre: Capital FM (Top 40), Capital Xtra (Urban/Rhythm), Heart (Hot Adult Contemporary), XFM (Alternative), Gold (oldies), Smooth Radio (adult contemporary), Classic FM (classical) and LBC (news/talk). Tabor has used this base to create an entertainment company that now includes Global Television (the UK national Capital and Heart video music networks) and Global Publishing, now under the Global Entertainment umbrella.
While no Global Entertainment tours or events have been announced yet, it appears the firm is positioned to compete--or partner--with Live Nation and AEG as a tour producer and promoter on a global level. Sources cited several projects in the works, and while Phillips declines to elaborate, he tells Billboard, "It's a new age we live in. There are no absolutes any more. They always say politics breeds strange bedfellows, well, business really does."
In addition to Tabor, Global is led by Group CEO Stephen Miron, COO Ian Hanson, and director of broadcasting Richard Park. It is chaired by Lord Allen of Kensington.