Brett Cottle will step down as CEO of APRA and AMCOS in June 2018.
In a statement to staff, Cottle said he would leave with some sadness but enormous optimism about the future of the rights societies. With Cottle at the helm, APRA AMCOS reported record revenue of a third of a billion Australian dollars for its financial year 2015-2016, up 11% year-on-year, a sum that factored-in a gain of more than A$20 million ($15 million) in digital revenue. Net distributable revenue during the period grew 8.73% to A$285.5 million ($218 million). In his memo to staff, Cottle said that 2017 financial results would again be at a record level.
Cottle began his career with the organization as its first in-house counsel in the late 1970s and has served as CEO of APRA since 1990. During his tenure, royalty collections and distributions have increased seven-fold and APRA AMCOS is now recognized as one of the leading copyright collecting societies, reflected in the fact that Cottle is the only Australian to have been elected chair of the International Confederation of Authors’ Societies (CISAC), a role in which he served for two consecutive terms. In 2012, the Sydney-based exec was named a Member of the Order of Australia in the Queen’s Birthday Honour’s List for “services to the performing arts.”
After 27 years leading the organization “we quite understand why Brett has reached the point where he is keen to pursue other priorities in life,” comments APRA chair Jenny Morris in a statement issued Wednesday (May 31). “He will nevertheless be missed enormously by the boards, management, staff and membership of APRA AMCOS.”
AMCOS chair and Mushroom Music managing director Ian James noted, “The operational merger of APRA and AMCOS is today taken for granted, but when it was effected in 1997 Brett’s vision and leadership were critical to its success. The positive and productive spirit in which the two boards have co-operated seamlessly ever since is testament to the culture created and fostered by Brett.”
While Cottle will continue in the CEO role for the next 12 months, the boards of APRA and AMCOS have tapped international recruiting firm Odgers Berndtson to recruit a new leader.
APRA (the Australasian Performing Right Society) was established in 1926 and now boasts more than 90,000 members, while AMCOS (Australasian Mechanical Copyright Owners Society) was created in 1979 and counts more than 16,000 members. Cottle brought both organizations together in 1997 in an alliance that would allow it to deliver a “one-stop service” to music creators and music customers.