Zach Horowitz has stepped down from his post as chairman and CEO of Universal Music Publishing Group, ending a legendary three-decade tenure with Universal Music Group.
“After a wonderful 30 years at Universal Music Group it is time for me to move on and explore other opportunities,” said Horowitz in a departure email where he thanked staff and Universal Music Group executives, including Chairman and CEO Lucian Grainge.
Horowitz had been in his publishing post since April 2012, after spending 12 years as president and COO of Universal Music Group.
Horowitz’s departure from Universal marks the end of an era that began before the company even existed. An attorney, Horowtiz started his music industry career as a lawyer at CBS before becoming global head of business and legal affairs for MCA Records.
Horowitz was instrumental in growing MCA and was eventually named COO of MCA Music Entertainment. With the purchase of Polygram in 1999, he was appointed president and COO of what then became Universal Music Group.
In that post, Horowitz’s highlights included helping acquire and integrate Geffen, Interscope, and Polygram Holdings under the Universal umbrella, the latter of which included Def Jam, Island, A&M, Motown, and Deutsche Grammophon. He also was key in integrating Rondor Music (an independent publisher), BMG Publishing, and Polygram’s publishing holdings, which helped boost UMPG to its status as the largest music publisher in the world.
In the Latin realm Horowitz aided the expansion of Universal Music Latino, which became the leading Latin music company in the country after its acquisition of Latin labels Fonovisa and Disa.
Horowitz held publishing in special esteem and said that becoming chairman and CEO of Universal Music Publishing group was a “special pleasure. “
“I consider that experience to be a true touchstone of my career in the company,” he said in his letter.
UMPG’s roster includes the music of ABBA, Adele, Alex Da Kidd, Irving Berlin, Leonard Bernstein, Justin Bieber, Mariah Carey, Desmond Child, Eminem, Gloria and Emilio Estefan, Billy Joel, Justin Timberlake and The Killers, to name just a few. Horowitz had recently signed a global publishing deal for the music of the Grateful Dead, which had yet to be announced.
It’s been widely rumored that Jody Gerson, current co-president of Sony/ATV Music Publishing, is in line to step into Horowitz’s vacated position.
A representative for UMPG did not respond to Billboard’s request for comment.