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Executive Turntable: New Hires & Promotions at The Orchard, Yamaha, Milk & Honey Management

A list of moves and shakes across the music business, including at The Orchard, Yamaha and more.

The Orchard announced Friday (March 2) that Sveinung Rindal will be joining their team as leader of company operations in Norway. In his new role, Rindal will lead the Phonofile team’s growth and development in the region as well as helping the company maximize their opportunities on a global level.

Rindal previously led the music management group at Stageway Talent and before that was the head of editorial at TIDAL.


“Sveinung is a strong addition to our global management team. He is well respected, with strong relationships and experience across the industry,” said CEO Colleen Theis in a statement. “I’m confident he will lead our vision in Norway and successfully take the company forward. We are proud to have him represent The Orchard.”

Yamaha Corporation of America (YCA) announced that Tom Sumner will succeed Hitoshi Fukutome as the company’s president, effective April 1. Sumner is the first American executive named to the top position in the States.

Fukutome is returning to the Hamamatsu, Japan, headquarters to serve as senior general manager of Asia-Pacific sales for Yamaha Corporation (YCJ).

“It has been my deep privilege and honor to lead YCA for the past five years, and I am extremely grateful to our exceptional team for their support and dedication,” said Fukutome in a statement. “I am particularly proud of our company’s business performance during my tenure, and I know that Tom will bring continued success to YCA.”

Sumner joined Yamaha, the world’s largest musical instrument manufacturer, 30 years ago. He most recently served as SVP of YCA, a role he stepped into in 2008.

“I am so humbled by the opportunity to lead the talented YCA team here in the United States,” added Sumner. “Hitoshi has set a high standard of excellence, and I look forward to building upon his success and strengthening our team and our brand, our dealer base and our focus on, and dedication to, our customers.”

On Feb. 27, president and founder of Milk & Honey Management + A&R + Marketing, Lucas Keller, announced Chelsea Avery will become head of A&R manager, where she will lead the staff as well as manage and build their growing roster.

Prior to joining the company, Avery was vp of A&R for Scooter Braun Projects where she worked on projects related to Justin Bieber, Martin Garrix, Tori Kelly, and others.

“Our friendship goes back many years, so it was incredible to have Chelsea join our team,” said Keller. “The relationships she has built with some of the best songwriters and artist talent in this town is unmatched, and at a pivotal time for our company where we are growing and having a number of hit records — we couldn’t be more excited to have someone like Chelsea onboard as we take the next step.”

STX’s COO Thomas McGrath announced on Friday (March 2) that Jason Markey has been promoted to president of STXmusic. He will now oversee music supervision for the company’s motion pictures, television programs, virtual reality productions, as well as STX’s publishing interests.

Markey, who joined STX in 2015 and most recently was evp/head of music, was previously evp of music and soundtracks at Relativity Media, where he oversaw music for films like Dallas Buyers Club, Dear John and more.

“Jason is one of the top music supervisors in the industry, with a deep understanding and appreciation for how to create meaningful connections between music, film, television and beyond,” said McGrath in a statement. “His talent and business relationships in the space are unmatched, and his passion for music will continue to be a huge benefit to STX as we broaden our slate of star-driven projects across platforms both in the U.S and internationally.”

On Feb. 26, Worldwide Independent Network (WIN) announced Beggars Group Founder and Chairman Martin Mills has joined the trade association as a non-executive chair.

Mills is also a board member at Merlin (where he recently stepped down from the chair position), IMPALA, AIM and A2IM.

WIN CEO Alison Wenham said in a statement, “Martin Mills has been a hugely respected and influential champion of the independent music community for decades and WIN is delighted to announce his chair. He will be a powerful advocate and will play a vital role in ensuring that we speak with one clear, collective voice while safeguarding the interests of members as we move forward in an ever more competitive commercial market.”

Crowd Surf announced Friday (March 2) the promotions of Helen Showalter to senior branding manager and Natalie Sanden to marketing account manager. Both will both be working with clients such as Backstreet Boys, Why Don’t We and Max & Harvey. Sanden’s roster also includes New Kids On The Block and FF5.

“Both Showalter and Sanden have been key in working on some of our largest pop acts over the past 3 years. The team worked hand in hand to launch initiatives such as Backstreet Boys’ Las Vegas residency with Caesars, as well as the careers of Max & Harvey (managed by Crowd Surf & Tim Byrne), Kim Petras and most notably the pop group Why Don’t We from their conception.” said Crowd Surf co-founder Jade Driver in a statement.

Showalter will report to co-founders Driver and Cassie Petrey, while Sanden will report to Los Angeles marketing director Tomara Petty. Both are based in Crowd Surf’s Los Angeles office.