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Long-Serving Universal Digital Exec David Ring Exits

Ring had been with the company in key digital roles for more than a decade.

Universal Music Group’s veteran digital exec David Ring is out at the music major just days after his boss Rob Wells exited.

Ring was, until recently, executive vp of business development & affairs at UMG. Way back in 2005, he was promoted from vp to senior vp of business affairs and business development for eLabs, a division within the music giant that dealt with electronic commerce, Internet exploitation and new technology opportunities. 

The timing of the UMG vet’s departure is significant. Earlier this week, Wells created a big stir in industry circles when he announced he is would split after nearly 15 years’ service. Sources tell Billboard that the market-leading music group likely won’t make a direct replacement of Wells, its president of global digital business, and will instead rethink how his responsibilities ought to be handled.

Universal Music Group chairman Lucian Grainge said of Rob Wells, that the “significance of what he accomplished while at UMG cannot be understated. And for that, we will forever be thankful. I will miss Rob’s professionalism, his sense of humor and his commitment to our artists and labels. Rob leaves big shoes to fill and we will be making announcements in the coming days.”

Ring’s departure is one of those announcements.

Grainge, the music industry’s most powerful executive who topped out the Billboard Power 100, recently shared his positive outlook on the future of his business. But he warned that streaming models weren’t the cure to the inevitable slide in CD sales. “We want to accelerate paid subscriptions and raise income and compensation for everyone. … Ad-funded on demand will not sustain us or the entire ecosystems,” he told the Code Media confab.