Antón Reixa, the president of Spain’s Sociedad General de Autores y Editores (SGAE), had been removed from his post after just one year, following a vote by the troubled authors’ and publishers’ society’s board of directors. Reixa, best known in Spain as the lead singer of a punk band, had presided over the organization since May 2012, following the resignation of former president Eduardo “Teddy” Batista, who was arrested by the Spanish Civil Guard, accused of making 400 million euros “disappear” in a much publicized misappropriation scandal.
Twenty-five of SGAE’s 39 board of directors voted to oust Reixa, according to reports in Spanish media, citing that he was not able to improve SGAE’s blighted image, or bring unity to the fiercely divided organization.
“I am a victim caught in the crossfire,” Reixa told Spanish press as he left SGAE’s Madrid offices for the last time in the car that was one of the perk’s of his position. “At SGAE there is battle that goes beyond anything legitimate.”
Reixa said his decision to go after television stations he accused of fraudulent practices in the payment of royalties spurred his dismissal.
SGAE is widely considered the country’s most influential and powerful cultural entity. Under the reign of Eduardo Batista, who served as the society’s head for more than 20 years, the organization was just as widely hated for its treatment of artists and its battles with Internet users. One survey in 2009 found that more people said they “hated” SGAE than Spain’s equivalent of the IRS. SGAE has more than 100,000 members and in 2011 alone, distributed some €365 million ($477 million) to its members, according to published reports.
Reixa told Billboard.biz in May that he sought to burnish SGAE’s image from within; a first step was limiting his own presidential powers. He took a pay cut, and makes €60,000 ($78,000), roughly 20% of what his predecessor made.
Reixa was removed from his post today (July 16), effective immediately. The election of a new SGAE president will take place on July 25.