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Executive Turntable: Interscope Names Sports & Gaming SVP; RIAA Taps SVP of Industry Relations

Also this week: ASM Global appoints a CMO, Warner Music names an SVP of international brand partnerships and more.

David Nieman was promoted to senior vp of sports & gaming at Interscope Geffen A&M Records (IGA), where he will continue to be the label’s chief liaison with the sports and gaming sectors. During his tenure, Nieman has helped forge partnerships with the NFL, ESPN, the NBA, the UFC, Barstool Sports, Bleacher Report, Epic Games, Ubisoft, 2K, Rockstar, EA, Nintendo and more. “David and his team have built our sports and gaming capabilities into a very important commercial driver for our artists,” said Interscope Geffen A&M vice chairman Steve Berman in a statement. “I am pleased to be able to offer him this expanded role as he continues to create important opportunities for our diverse array of artists.” Nieman can be reached at David.Nieman@umusic. com.

The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) promoted Jackie Jones to senior vp of artist & industry relations. Based in Nashville, Jones will remain the RIAA’s chief representative in the market. She reports to RIAA chief policy officer Morna Willens and can be reached at jackie.jones@riaa.com.

ASM Global promoted Alex Merchán from executive vp of marketing to CMO. He will spearhead the company’s branding and positioning across key areas including global partnerships, digital and CRM strategy, business development and advisory and investing efforts in the U.S. and internationally. Merchán can be reached at amerchan@asmglobal.com.

Bob Workman was promoted to the dual role of senior vp of international brand partnerships, Warner Music and general manager of WMX UK. In his new international role — which coincides with Warner Music’s UK brand partnerships team becoming part of the global WMX division — Workman will coordinate the work of brand partnership teams outside the U.S. and establish them in emerging markets where Warner Music operates. Workman will keep his place on the Warner Music UK senior management team to ensure close alignment between WMX and the U.K. recorded music business. He reports to WMX president Maria Weaver and will work closely with Warner Music Group president of international, recorded music Simon Robson. He’ll also be working alongside Atlantic Records U.S. chief partnerships officer Camille Hackney and Warner Records U.S. executive vp of brand partnerships and sync Claudia Butzky.

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ADA Worldwide named MaryLynne Drexler head of business & legal affairs. Drexler, who arrives at the company from Sony Music’s The Orchard, will help craft ADA’s global strategy while overseeing artist and distribution deals along with acquisitions, JVs, investments, new technologies and partnerships. Also hired is Bryan Roberts, who was named vp of A&R and label acquisition. The New York-based Roberts joined ADA earlier this summer from The Orchard, where he was senior director of A&R. He will spearhead ADA’s development and growth while bringing in new talent and partners. Both Drexler and Roberts report to ADA Worldwide president Cat Kreidich.

Kazuhiro Shimada was named COO of Warner Music Japan. Joining from Amazon Music Japan where he served as director & general manager, the Tokyo-based Shimada will be responsible for the company’s daily business operations, including by leading key initiatives, while also implementing organization-wide strategies and policies. He reports to Warner Music Japan CEO Kaz Kobayashi.

Ulf Zick will return to Universal Music Germany as president of international repertoire on Jan. 1, 2023. He re-joins the label from Utopia Music, where he was hired in March as chief marketing officer. He will take over management of Universal Music International in Germany and oversee the Virgin Music Label & Artist Services operations in the country. Zick previously helmed Universal Music Germany’s international division between 2018 and March 2022.

Tizita Makuria was appointed vp of A&R at Pulse Music Group. Makuria joins the company from Artist Publishing Group (APG), where she served as senior director of A&R. Based in Los Angeles, her responsibilities will include signing and developing Pulse’s roster of artists, songwriters and producers.

Blue Raincoat Music/Chrysalis Records hired James Meadows as senior vp of marketing, Rachel Forde as campaign marketing manager and Aaron Skates as catalogue marketing manager. Meadows joins the company from BMG, where he served as head of marketing. He reports to COO Alison Wenham and CEO Jeremy Lascelles. Forde comes to Blue Raincoat/Chrysalis from Warner Music Group, where she worked at Parlophone Records. In her new role, she will oversee campaigns for Chrysalis Records releases including Emeli Sande‘s album Let’s Say For Instance and Ben Harper‘s album Bloodline Maintenance. Finally, the London-based Skates joins from indie distributor state51, where he served in marketing, A&R and production roles. At Blue Raincoat/Chrysalis, he will coordinate marketing activities for the company’s catalog release schedule while also driving engagement on key releases. He reports to Dermot James, senior vp of Chrysalis Catalogue.

RECORDS hired Jordan Sargent as director of A&R and Jeff Juin as senior vp of A&R. Sargent, a former journalist, joins from Capitol Records. Juin previously signed and developed Shordie Shordie and also signed “Whoopty” singer CJ, among other accomplishments. Sargent can be reached at jsargent@recordsco.com and Juin can be reached at jjuin@recordsco.com.

Mara Frankel was named CEO of companyX, a new brand strategy agency launched by independent music booking agency Arrival Artists and ATC Management. The agency will represent artists on both Arrival and ATC, including Santigold, Hayley Kiyoko, Yaeji, Mayer Hawthorne, David Archuleta, Khruangbin, Mt. Joy and Goose. In her new role, Frankel will oversee strategic brand partnerships for music artists across categories including name and likeness campaigns, ambassador programs, branded editorial content, paid social media, video product placement and other third-party revenue opportunities. She arrives at companyX from Atlantic Records, where she most recently served as senior creative director, brand partnerships.

Chris Schuler departed his role as vp of promotion at Arista Nashville, Billboard has confirmed. Schuler joined the company in April from Universal Music Group Nashville. During his tenure, he was responsible for developing, implementing and supervising the strategic and tactical radio promotional plans for artists on the Arista Nashville roster.

YMU appointed Mike Kadziulis as executive manager & head of radio. Based between Los Angeles and Chicago, Kadziulis joins YMU from his own artist management company Mad Ones. He brings clients Aluna, Kacy Hill and Brevin Kim with him to YMU. In the new role, he will foster the careers of his clients while bringing his marketing and radio promo experience to the wider YMU roster.

Audacy named Seema Kumar senior vp of advertising platforms. Kumar will lead the team members responsible for the tech platforms for Audacy’s revenue organization, ensuring that roadmaps and requirements are prioritized for vendors and IT ad tech engineers, aligned with ad product strategy and revenue goals and optimized to meet business operational needs. She arrives at Audacy from WarnerMedia, where she served as vp of advertising technology.

Shauni Caballero was appointed senior A&R manager at Sony Music Publishing UK. Based in London, Caballero is responsible for developing the company’s songwriters, fostering collaborations and more.

Capitol Christian Music Group promoted Karrie Dawley to senior vp of A&R (previously vp of publishing), David Gutekunst to senior vp of publishing (previously vp of church resources), Joe Brazil to senior vp of business affairs (previously head of business affairs) and David Sylvester to senior vp of operations (previously vp of marketing and operations). Dawley can be reached at karrie.dawley@umusic.com, Gutekunst can be reached at david.gutekunst@umusic.com, Brazil can be reached at joe.brazil@umusic.com and Sylvester can be reached at david.sylvester@umusic.com.

Ryan Fleming and Victoria Sou launched Disruptive Vision, a creative studio designed to provide artists with services including creative direction, apparel design and production, art direction, brand development, brand partnership strategy, experiential events, marketing strategy, photography, social media management, videography, wardrobe styling and more. Fleming can be reached at Ryan@disruptive-vision.com and Sou can be reached at Victoria@disruptive-vision.com.

Mikaela Duhs and Grace Fleisher were promoted to senior account executives at Shore Fire Media. Both were previously account executives.