Michael Haentjes, chairman of edel music AG in Hamburg, was elected Oct. 27 as the new chairman of the board of Germany’s record industry bodies. Haentjes takes responsibilities for the BPW, the German IFPI and the German Phono Academy, which oversees the Echo Awards.
It signals the first time the chairman of an independent record company has been appointed to represent the interests of the entire German recorded music business.
As previously reported, Haentjes succeeds Gerd Gebhardt in the role. After a four-year tenure, Gebhardt has stepped aside from the role; he will retain responsibilities as executive producer for the annual Echo Awards.
Speaking after his formal selection, Haentjes commented, “I will engage myself even more for the concerns of the business than I could do this as a simple board member.”
He also emphasized his dedication to all facets of the music business. “There are a lot of medium-sized and small music companies, which are extremely important for the creative and commercial development of the music business,” he said. “I think that I am quite capable to represent this structure of the business.”
Haentjes founded edel music in 1986 as a soundtrack-distribution company. Two years later the firm became a fully equipped record company, which distributed its compilations and soundtracks by an in-house sales team. By the late 1990s, Haentjes had developed edel into one of the biggest independent music companies.