Universal Music Group has promoted Rob Wells to president of Global Digital Business, a new position created to oversee the label’s worldwide digital activities.
Formerly senior VP of digital, Wells will continue his existing responsibilities of creating digital distribution partnerships, but take them worldwide. That include wireless, online and digital retail. The idea behind the new position, according to UMG, is to create a more integrated approach to UMG’s digital strategy.
“Innovation, leadership and imagination are essential to expanding our digital business even further, and there is no one better equipped to do this than Rob,” said Lucian Grainge, co-CEO of UMG, in a statement. “Not only have he and his team been at the forefront of pioneering new models in such a challenging, competitive environment, but they have also led the way in developing new business ventures with key strategic media and tech partners. And he’s the best surfer I know.”
As part of the promotion, Wells will move from London to Los Angeles. He will report to UMG president and COO Zach Horowitz and COO of UMG International Max Hole.
Wells will be the point man now with several important licensing negotiations, including bringing Spotify to the U.S., Google’s ongoing music plans, and whatever Apple has up its sleeve. Wells has been a vocal proponent of Spotify in the past.