DENNIS KOOKER, 49
President of global digital business and U.S. sales, Sony Music Entertainment
JULIE SWIDLER, 58
Executive vp business affairs/general counsel, SME
Last Year’s Rank: 44
Kooker helped drive streaming revenue to a 53 percent year-to-year gain — more than $590 million for the first half of fiscal 2016 — through deals with SoundCloud, Pandora and Playster. A partnership with Thirty Tigers and Triple 8 to create the Nashville-based Triple Tigers imprint and London-based Red’s acquisition of Essential Music & Marketing to form Red Essential were pushpins on the map of SME’s global expansion. Swidler lobbied internationally on music’s importance in tech valuations and was recognized by the Grammy Foundation, which chose her as the first label executive and first woman to receive the Entertainment Law Initiative Service Award in its 18-year history.