WME’s head of music Marc Geiger is negotiating his exit from the agency he helped build into a concert and festival powerhouse, Billboard has learned.
The change atop the music department comes during an internal reorganization at WME, which like other agencies and concert promotion companies has been hit hard by the shut down of the concert business. In May WME laid off and furloughed approximately 20% of its staff. The company’s competitors also made similar cuts, but WME’s parent company Endeavor drew intense scrutiny because of a September decision by Ari Emanuel and Patrick Whitesell to delay a long-planned IPO.
It’s unclear what role, if any, internal issues at Endeavor played in Geiger’s decision to leave WME. Several sources close to Geiger said that rumors that he had been in secret talks to join Spotify were not true.
The 57-year-old executive has worked at WME since 2003 where he played a major role in the development of the international festival business, turning what had been a small collection of regional events into a multi-billion dollar industry and generating major revenue for the company’s A-list music clients including Kendrick Lamar, Drake, Kings of Leon, Rage Against the Machine and Marshmello.
Geiger was also invested in the festival business as the co-founder of Lollapalooza and prior to WME was the co-founder of ARTISTdirect, which he ran for seven years, ushering in the e-commerce era of music while creating a direct link between artists and fans.
Both Geiger and officials at WME declined to comment for this story.