Michael Greene, who transformed the Grammy Awards from a industry ritual into a global television event, has resigned as president of the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences, the organization said yesterday (April 28). Greene, 52, has been the subject of an internal investigation into allegations that he sexually harassed female employees, although, according to a statement released by the academy, the investigation cleared Greene.
“A full and fair investigation of alleged misconduct by Mike was completed and it revealed no sexual harassment, no sex discrimination and no hostile work environment at the recording academy,” Garth Fundis, board chairman, said in the statement. The statement did not explain why Greene stepped down.
Greene had three years left on his $2 million-plus-perks annual contract. His resignation came after an emergency board meeting at a Beverly Hills hotel Saturday attended by 38 trustees who flew in from 12 chapters across the nation. According to published reports, Greene’s severance package could be as much as $8 million.
Greene will remain through September as a full-time consultant to the academy, which produces the Grammy Awards. “I am so proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish together over the past 13 years and am gratified by the growth and success of the organization,” Greene said in the statement.
Greene and the academy previously reached out-of-court settlements with two former employees who accused Greene of sexual harassment. Details of the settlements were not disclosed and Greene denied any wrongdoing.
A saxophone player and former volunteer president of the Atlanta chapter, Greene moved up quickly in the Grammy organization before becoming president in 1988. When he took over, the organization had 14 employees, 3,500 members and $4.9 million in assets. The Grammy organization currently has about 120 staffers, 17,000 members, and more than $50 million in assets.
Several months ago, Greene negotiated a five-year extension of the Grammy broadcast rights with CBS for more than $20 million annually.
Greene will continue to assist with upcoming projects, including the Latin Grammys, a $90 million Grammy Exposition and Hall of Fame in New Orleans, and Encore Hall, a senior living facility in Los Angeles.
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