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Executive Turntable: Spotify Podcast Division Undergoes Re-Org; RCA UK Names Co-Presidents

Also this week: Robin Godfrey-Cass joins Primary Wave with a focus on catalog acquisitions, ADA Worldwide appoints a physical sales head and more.

Max Cutler, Spotify‘s head of audio talk shows and partnerships, is departing to “return to his entrepreneurial roots,” according to the company. His exit is part of a broader reorganization at the streaming company’s podcast division, where Julie McNamara has been appointed to lead licensed exclusives in addition to her oversight of Spotify’s global podcast studios. Additionally, Bryan Thoensen will continue overseeing content partnerships for third-party creators while expanding both those efforts and his team, while Bill Simmons will now report to podcasting head Sahar Elhabashi; in addition to continuing to lead The Ringer, Simmons will partner with vp/global head of ads business & platform Lee Brown on podcast monetization across the Spotify portfolio. No layoffs are connected to these shifts, according to the company.

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Stacey Tang and Glyn Aikins were named co-presidents of RCA UK; both have worked at the label since 2018, with Tang most recently serving as executive vp while Aikins was co-president of Sony Music’s Since 93, a label partnership with RCA. Tang was named to Billboard‘s International Power Players list last year.

Robin Godfrey-Cass joined Primary Wave Music to focus on catalog acquisitions for the publishing giant. Godfrey Cass has over 40 years of experience in the music industry, including as managing director at Warner/Chappell Music UK and Round Hill Carlin UK; founder of Crosstown Songs; and co-founder of Perfect Storm, which eventually sold to Reservoir.

Cathy Bauer was appointed to the newly created role of head of physical sales & marketing at ADA Worldwide. In the role, she will manage ADA’s global physical sales and marketing division “with a focus on growing partners’ businesses and establishing efficient and standardized processes,” according to a press release. Bauer will additionally be tasked with identifying growth and innovation opportunities for ADA’s artists and partners, including through direct-to-consumer initiatives. She reports to ADA Worldwide president Cat Kreidich. Bauer joins ADA from ABKCO Music & Records, where she served as vp of sales & marketing for nearly five years.

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Concord promoted 12 staff members to vp and senior vp roles across multiple business areas: Carol Boldish to vp of production, Concord Label Group (Nashville); Tom Frank to vp of sync marketing, Concord Label Group (London); David Geer to vp of music & publications, Concord Theatricals (New York); Shane Guitar to vp of operations, Fearless Records (Los Angeles); Randy Linsey to vp of international marketing & sales, Craft Recordings (Los Angeles); Clare Maxwell to vp of marketing, Concord Label Group (London); Elysha Miracle to senior vp of rights data management (Nashville); Meredith O’Leary to vp of sync marketing, Concord Label Group (New York); Gary Paczosa to senior vp of A&R, Rounder Records (Nashville); Stephen Phillips to vp of sync, Concord Music Publishing (London); Kelly Voigt to senior vp of corporate communications (Nashville); and Marty Willard to senior vp of business & legal affairs (remote).

Parlophone Records announced several key promotions and hires, chiefly Jack Melhuish, who has been named GM. He will continue to oversee and develop campaigns for Parlophone’s roster while also taking on wider responsibilities at the label. Additionally, Arina Logacheva, Molly McNulty and Seb Smith have been hired as senior A&R managers while Jason Ngimbi was hired as junior A&R manager. Logacheva joins from Universal Music, McNulty comes from Kobalt Music Publishing, Smith comes from Believe Music and Ngimbi joins from BMG. Lastly, Grace O’Neill was promoted to head of radio while Sam Palm was promoted to head of the newly created insight department, where he will extend the work he’s been doing as streaming head by incorporating more robust audience data.

Marcus Wise was appointed CEO for the European region at Wise Music Group. Previously global head of media, the London-based executive will lead the company’s music publishing and recorded music interests across the continent. Additionally, Dave Holley was named Wise Music Group COO, also based in London.

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Alexander Brose, former executive director and CEO of The Tianjin Juilliard School in China, will succeed Dr. Peter Simon as president/CEO of The Royal Conservatory of Music upon Simon’s retirement on Aug. 31, 2024. The transition will begin on Sept. 1, 2023, when Brose will assume the role of president designate and work closely alongside Simon leading up to his departure.

Allison Smith was promoted to vp of promotion at Big Machine/John Varvatos Records; she was previously national director of promotion. In her new role, Smith will continue cultivating relationships between rock radio and the Varvatos imprint’s roster, which includes Badflower, Ayron Jones, Starcrawler, The Struts and Violet Saturn. She can be reached at allison.smith@bmlg.net.

Samantha Steel was named COO at Triple 8 Management, where she will oversee operations, promote a positive company culture and vision and develop solutions for internal communications as well as growth potential for employees and clients. Steel first joined Triple 8 in 2017, when Good Time Inc., where she served as GM, was acquired by the company. She can be reached at Sam@Triple8Mgmt.com.

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JukeJoint Foundation, a nonprofit designed to empower women of color in the music business, was launched by Fresh ‘N Sassy Productions and ENCORE Music Tech Solutions founder Janishia Jones out of Los Angeles. Current board members include Live Out L!ve CEO Candace Newman, Exceleration Music head of data strategy Britnee Foreman, Jammcard operations manager Katrina Lee and Mass Appeal head of finance Daphnee Pierre. The Foundation will help women of color forge key professional connections by providing access to music industry events, scholarships to assist in repaying student loan debt and grants to aid the launch of their own music businesses. It plans to open additional chapters in New York, Atlanta and Nashville.

Gail Berger was named senior vp and GM of automotive partnerships at SiriusXM, succeeding Rodney Pickett, who will retire at the end of the month. Reporting to chief commercial officer Joe Verbrugge, Berger will oversee the company’s automotive partnerships, automotive remarketing and automotive field operations teams responsible for growing SiriusXM’s presence in new and used vehicles. Berger, who has been with SiriusXM since 2012, was most recently senior vp of automotive remarketing.

Bryce Sherlow was promoted to A&R manager at Warner Chappell Music in Nashville, while Benji Amaefule was hired in the same role. Amaefule joins from media platform Country Central, where he served as head of artist and label partnerships; he also interviews Nashville artists and writers and reviews new music via his brand TheBenjiChord.

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Drive Agency president/CEO Jessy Tolkan was appointed as chairperson of the board of directors at HeadCount, the nonpartisan, nonprofit voter registration organization that harnesses music, culture and digital media to increase voter turnout. She succeeds Peter Shapiro, who recently finished out his four-year term as chair but will keep a seat on the board.

Mary Beth O’Toole launched The Conduit Collaborative, a boutique public relations firm with locations in Los Angeles and Sacramento, Calif. The firm specializes in finding non-traditional pitch angles for clients, ranging from music artists to Washington lobbying firms. It offers a range of PR services, including tour press and red carpet services, and has already worked with the Janis Joplin estate, Universal Music and L.A. Live, among other clients. O’Toole can be reached at info@conduitcollab.com.

Sound Future Foundation, which harnesses the influence of the live event industry to further climate innovation, announced its new board of directors, including board chair Terah Lyons, who previously served as policy advisor to U.S. chief technology officer Megan Smith in President Barack Obama’s Office of Science and Technology Policy and founding executive director of the global nonprofit Partnership on AI. The remainder of the new board includes treasurer Kelci Zile (sustainability partner, Madrona Ventura Labs); secretary Adam Brunner (senior planner & counsel, Wildstar Partners); Brandy Schultz (co-founder/chief marketing officer, Sound Future and founder of Adventure Nannies); Ashley O’Winter (co-founder/COO, Sound Future); Wesley Schultz (songwriter-producer-lead singer of The Lumineers); Sara Full (tour manager); Joe Atamian (senior vp, Wasserman Music); and Alex Bruford (founder/CEO/agent, ATC Live).

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ASM Global appointed Leonie Patrick of the San Francisco Travel Association as GM for its San Francisco Moscone Center. “Her focus will be to actively create an international destination while driving a great value for live meetings and events that drive action within their communities,” said ASM Global executive vp of convention centers Dan Hoffend in a statement.

TAIT — a global group of designers, fabricators, engineers and innovators for live and location-based experiences — promoted Gemma Hodgson to chief commercial officer. Additionally, Jess Chalifoux has joined the company as vp of global business development. Chalifoux reports to Hodgson, who can be reached at gemma.guy@taittowers.com.

Sander Shalinsky was named legal counsel at SRG/ILS Group. In music, Shalinsky is best known for his work with The Weeknd and producer Bob Ezrin, among many other record labels, artists, publishers, managers and music executives.

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Singer-songwriter Jewel co-founded Innerworld, a mental health platform that aims to “build the largest community in the metaverse for mental health support,” according to a press release. Jewel will serve as chief strategy officer, while founder Noah Robinson serves as CEO.

CrossBorderWorks founder/CEO Vickie Nauman joined the advisory board of Web3 company Pixelynx, which develops new formats of music and experiences for the metaverse.