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Executive Turntable: Moves at Arista Records, IMPEL, Universal Music Group & More

A list of moves and shakes across the music business, including Arista Records, IMPEL, Red Light Management, Third Side Music, Berklee College of Music and more.

Danny Cooper has been named svp of promotion at Arista Records, the label announced on Monday (April 22). Cooper will be based in the label’s L.A. office and work closely with evp of promotion John Boulos.

“I am delighted to have Danny Cooper serving in this key role, said Boulos in a statement. “He is one of the most well-respected promotion executives in the business today, and his industry relationships are second-to-none. His deep knowledge and strong leadership skills will help us further enhance the brands of our artists and maximize awareness of their music around the world.”

Sarah Williams has been appointed IMPEL’s CEO, the company announced April 23. Williams formerly served as an independent music and entertainment lawyer, and has over 25 years of industry experience.

“I couldn’t be more excited to have this chance to lead IMPEL into a period of growth and development,” she said in a statement. “IMPEL’s independent spirit and collaborative ethos chimes exactly with my own and, together with the great team at SACEM, we are going to be at the forefront of innovation in digital licensing. Our vision is to turbo-charge our members’ digital income and energise their digital rights strategy. Watch this space!”

Universal Music Group has hired JJ Corsini and Chris Hovsepian as svps of artist development, the organization announced April 25. The two former Apple Music employees will be based at UMG’s global headquarters in Santa Monica, Calif.

“To maximise the global success of our artists at every stage of their careers and capitalise on the worldwide growth in music consumption, we are committed to building the most progressive and innovative global artist development team the industry has ever seen,” said UMG’s chairman and CEO Sir Lucian Grainge in a statement. “I’m pleased to welcome JJ and Chris, who bring with them a strong track record for developing impactful narratives around artists that particularly resonate in streaming and social context.”

“Artist development is the most critical, yet overlooked and underserved process, in the music industry,” added Corsini. “Investing time and resources into artist development requires commitment and an understanding that patience and a common goal are the most core elements of growth. Chris and I have been on the same page with Sir Lucian about that since day 1. We are both very excited for this incredible opportunity.”

David Adcock has joined Red Light Management’s marketing and shared services team. He will be based in the company’s Nashville office.

“I am thrilled to be joining the incredible team at Red Light Management,” said Adcock in a statement. “Nashville’s music scene has been growing increasingly diverse and the opportunity for artists to connect with global audiences has never been greater. I couldn’t be more excited to be working with the best placed company in the business to help do this.”

Josh Rabinowitz announced on April 16 that he is leaving his position as evp and director of music at Grey to launch consultancy service Brooklyn Music Experience.

The new consultancy will offer clients music strategy and execution, solutions and problem solving, sonic branding, music business negotiations, curation and ideation, content creation, production and supervision and a wide range of other services.

For the past two years, Rabinowitz has been named a Billboard Branding Player and previously penned a regular column called “With the Brand.”

The United Palace announced on April 15 that Heath Miller will serve as the venue’s new director of booking.

“We are absolutely thrilled to have Heath Miller join the team at the United Palace,” said Reverend Heather Shea, the venue’s CEO and spiritual director. “We believe Heath’s vast experience in the industry will positively impact the already very popular events we offer at the Palace.”

“I’m excited to join the United Palace, it’s a rarity to find a historic venue so well preserved and maintained,” Miller added. “I look forward to retaining their existing programming while expanding it in both genre and quantity of events. With the growth Upper Manhattan has been seeing over recent years combined with Lin-Manuel Miranda’s hit musical In the Heights being adapted to film, timing is perfect for this next chapter of the United Palace.”

Third Side Music announced this week that the company has hired Kristin Genovese as svp of creative sync and Alex Kelman as co-evp of creative/A&R. Additionally, Melissa Woods and Brontë Jane have been promoted to co-evp of creative/A&R and vp of A&R, respectively.

“In the world of good problems to have, I’m constantly managing the ever-expanding growth of this company by looking to add the best in the business,” said Third Side Music co-founder Jeff Waye in a statement. “Bringing in Kristin and Alex, as well as promoting Melissa and Brontë to more senior roles continues our mission to attract top career artists and to maintain a proper staff to copyright ratio so that we’re working with (rather than just acquiring) copyrights.”

Kobalt recording company AWAL announced the hiring of Thomas Fiss as vp of strategic marketing for North America. He will be based in L.A. and report to Ron Cerrito, president of the company’s North American division.

“We are reimagining the construct and type of services artists and labels should have access to in the modern music industry,” said Cerrito in a statement. “We sought someone with Thomas’ brand partnership expertise and agency approach to help us innovate what next chapter music marketing should look like and to help our artists create unique content offerings for their fans.”

Berklee College of Music announced on April 23 that Phillip Lima has been named assistant chair of the school’s voice department.

“It’s so great to be with ‘my tribe’ of singers, and what remarkable singers–both faculty and students–they are. I appreciate the out-of-the-box decision-making of college leaders to let a central administrator move into academic leadership,” said Lima, who worked in Berklee’s Human Resources Department, in a statement. “While similar moves have occurred previously, the path is not well-worn. Thanks for taking a chance on me (yes, ABBA pun intended).”

We are all very excited for Philip Lima in his newest role at Berklee,” added Ron Savage, dean of the professional performance division. “A world class singer and person, his tremendous administrative expertise and deep understanding of the needs of developing vocalists make him the perfect complement for leading the college’s largest private instruction area.”

BMG has promoted Marian Wolf to vp of global writer services and China, the company announced April 24. Wolf will be based in Los Angeles and report directly to Thomas Scherer, evp of marketing and repertoire, Los Angeles.

“Marian’s time at BMG has been and is exceedingly consistent with our core values, approach and strategy,” said Scherer in a statement. “His work creating an integrated and collaborative international team around the world has helped raise our game in music publishing and develop songwriters and artists careers on a global scale.”

Marcus “Rambo” Randall has launched an independent hip-hop record company, It’s I Love Music, LLC., he announced April 23.

Randall — who has worked with artists including Big Tymers, Cash Money and Juvenile — has also secured a national distribution partnership with UAMG/Sony Music/The Orchard. His diverse roster of artists includes MIAS, Trap Fuego, One Way and Rouxga. 

Entertainment One (eOne) has tapped Bill Wilson to be svp digital opporations and innovation, music. Wilson will be based in New York City and will report to Sean Stevenson, eOne’s executive vp and general manager, music.

Stevenson says in a statement, “We are excited to have Bill on the team. He is a leader in the digital space, his knowledge of metadata and all things digital ingestion and delivery is unmatched. This move will allow us to take our whole operation to the next level.”