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Executive Turntable: Atlantic Elevates Promotion Vets, Ticketing Startup Beefs Up Leadership Team

A rundown of recent music industry hires and promotions at Atlantic Records, Lyte, Merlin and more.

Atlantic Records veterans John McMann and Jon Lewis have been promoted to executive vp of pop and rhythmic promotion and executive vp of pop promotion, respectively.

McMann has worked at Atlantic for 20 years, having joined the label in 2000 as vp of rhythmic promotion. He was previously at Jive Records and began his career in radio. Lewis has been at Atlantic for 26 years, including 10 years at Elektra, which he joined in 1995 as a promotion assistant before working his way up the executive ladder.


“Outstanding promotion veterans with extraordinary knowledge of the formats, they are both exemplary executives and best of all, fabulous strategists,” said Atlantic president of promotion Andrea Ganis in an internal email announcing the promotions. “Unafraid to take risks, they continually work to crack the crazy code known as promotion. Year after year they have delivered our records at the pop and rhythmic formats—the most competitive charts imaginable, and done it with integrity, teamwork and style.”

Reservations technology platform Lyte has announced a round of new hires and a promotions within its executive ranks.

Most prominently, Lawrence Peryer has been promoted to chief strategy officer, Wendi Sturgis has been hired as chief revenue officer, Neal Gilbreath has been brought on as director of sales and Angeline Chase Priefer has been elevated to director of client services.

Formerly chief revenue officer at Lyte, Peryer’s efforts are focused on global artist tours, new vertical and international expansion and partnering with major technology platforms. He was previously director of live events at Amazon and built the artist services division at Warner Music Group. Before that, he served as president of UltraStar Entertainment, which was acquired by Live Nation in 2007. In addition, he has produced all archival releases for The Rolling StonesKeith Richards and created and hosts Lyte’s weekly podcast, Spot Lyte On….

Current Lyte employees Craig Snyder, Cynthia Parsons and Justin Nordan will work under Peryer on the strategy team.

Sturgis arrives at Lyte from Yext Europe, where she served as CEO and led its transition into becoming a publicly-traded company. Before she was appointed as CEO at Yext, she was senior vp of sales and service and chief customer officer. She has additionally held roles at Right Media and Yahoo! and serves on the boards of The Container Store and software company Kustomer.

Gilbreath joins Lyte from Live Nation/Ticketmaster subsidiary Front Gate Tickets, where he served as vp of sales and business development. Prior to that, he held senior positions at Eventbrite and Ticketfly.

In December, Lyte announced a $33 million Series B funding round from investors including Chamath Palihapitiya’s Social Capital, Quincy Jones and Rocketship VC.

Independent rights organization Merlin – which recently announced a brand “refresh” under CEO Jeremy Sirota – has promoted 2019 Billboard Indie Power Player Jim Mahoney to senior vp, member & partner success. He was previously vp, global operations.

Mahoney, who leads the member & partner success department, oversees a global team based in New York, London and Tokyo. He is tasked with helping Merlin deepen relationships between its members and digital partners.

As U.S. general manager — a role he assumed after joining Merlin in 2014 — Mahoney oversaw the establishment and growth of Merlin’s North American operation. He has played a key role in the organization’s revenue and membership growth and in building trust with its digital partners.

Before Merlin, Mahoney worked for seven years as vp of A2IM, the nonprofit trade association for indie labels in the U.S. He also served as president of Fat Beats Records & Distribution, senior director of urban product at Roadrunner Records and national director of marketing and promotions at Profile Records. He was also on the SoundExchange board of directors from 2012-2014.

Ingrooves Music Group has promoted Lloyd Hummel to executive vp, global commercial strategy. Hummel, who was previously senior vp, will continue reporting to CEO Bob Roback.

In the role, Hummel will continue overseeing the global teams that handle commercial digital partner management, video services, physical product sales and engagement marketing.

Hummel came to Ingrooves after the company acquired Fontana Distribution in 2012. Before that, he worked at Universal Music Group in a variety of management, marketing and sales roles. His music career began in music retail in Phoenix, where he worked as a buyer with Zia Records and co-founded the independent record store Hoodlums Music.

IMPALA, the pan-European independent music companies’ trade body, has kicked off a new three-year collaboration with Vick Bain from vbain consulting and Arit Eminue of DiVA Apprenticeships to provide diversity and inclusion training to members.

The partnership with Bain and Eminue follows the establishment of IMPALA’s diversity task force in summer 2020, which includes Keith Harris OBE as an adviser. In October, the organization published its diversity and inclusion charter, which touts 12 commitments to promoting diversity and inclusion at independent music companies and promises to provide diversity and conscious inclusion training twice a year to all members.

Bain and Eminue have already held two training sessions for IMPALA’s diversity task force, with diversity training for members to follow on Jan. 27.

Bain is a diversity trainer, campaigner and PhD researcher as well as a qualified equality, diversity & inclusion consultant for the creative sector with over 25 years of experience working in the music industry. She was previously CEO of the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors and published research on the U.K. music sector entitled “Counting the Music Industry.” She also formed the nonprofit The F-List Directory of UK Female Musicians.

Eminue is founder and director of recruiting and training company DiVA Apprenticeships, which has helped hundreds of clients kick off careers in the entertainment industry. She is also a qualified leadership and career coach and trainer, helping people “rewire their mindset, unlock their full potential and take ownership of their careers through employment, entrepreneurship, or a combination of both.” She conducts corporate training in leadership and management, unconscious bias and inclusive recruitment.

Founded in 2000, IMPALA now represents over 5,000 independent music companies in Europe.

Milk & Honey Management has made Nic Warner a partner at the firm, which he joined at its inception in 2014.

Warner, who was promoted to general manager in April 2018, has managed clients including J. White Did It, Noah Goldstein, Sir Nolan, David Hodges, John Feldmann, Y2K, Jussifer and Lil Aaron.

In the new role, Warner will continue leading the Milk & Honey creative team and working with the company’s U.S. and overseas offices to grow its songwriter and producer management business. He will be taking a more senior role in running the company, as founder and CEO Lucas Keller is now focused on expanding the firm, which is slated to double in size over the next two years.

Robbie Brown, formerly of WME, has joined UTA as a music agent based in Los Angeles.

Brown, who played an instrumental part in growing WME’s contemporary rock and festival divisions, has worked with artists including Jimmy Eat World, Spoon, Mike D and Thievery Corporation.

“Robbie has an incredible track record of identifying and developing the trajectories of rising musicians,” said UTA Music partner and co-head David Zedeck. “He has a unique ability to elevate emerging artists within the touring and festival landscapes while simultaneously expanding their careers into new business areas. His values align with UTA’s client-first culture, and we are excited to welcome him to the music group.”

SoundExchange has named Paul Gills vp of publisher services.

Gills will be tasked with planning, leading and implementing the publishing operations shared services model across all of SoundExchange’s companies and teams. In so doing, he will be a key force in driving the strategic direction of the company’s publishing practice and overseeing its growth.

Prior to SoundExchange, Gills was vp of North American Administration at Universal Music Publishing Group, where he spearheaded the operational redesign, development and execution of core business systems, process re-engineering and organizational change.

Before that, Gills spent over 20 years at EMI Music Publishing, where he led the redesign of the company’s core publishing operations and played a key role in the establishment of the Central European Licensing and Administration Service, the world’s first multi-territory digital music licensing and administration body of its kind.

Gills will report to SoundExchange executive vp and chief financial officer Anjula Singh.

Carly James has joined CAA as an agent in the touring department, working out of the company’s New York office.

James hails from Paradigm, where she served as a music agent. Her roster includes IDLES, Fontaines D.C. and girl in red. She started her career as an assistant at The Agency Group in 2012 before moving to Paradigm in 2015. She began there as a booking coordinator before being promoted to agent in 2017.

Mark Needham, the studio mixer and producer whose mile-long list of credits include best-selling albums by The Killers, P!nk and Imagine Dragons, has announced the creation of E.O.M. Records (Evolution of Man), an artist development extension and record label. E.O.M.’s first order of business is pairing with Hollywood Records/Disney Music Publishing to break alt-pop band Almost Monday.

Other current E.O.M. development projects include Minneapolis’ Yam Haus and Illinois’ The Cold Stares. Needham’s recent studio work includes producing The Airborne Toxic Event’s Hollywood Park album and mixing songs by Dolly Parton and Blue October, among others.

“I came up in the music scene and still get really excited when I hear a new artist with that spark,” Needham said. “I think every producer makes their own luck when they take a new act to the next level.”