UMG Nashville’s Royce Risser, Stephanie Wright and Brian Wright Exit
The departures come as Cindy Mabe officially began her role as UMG Nashville chairman/CEO on April 1.
Three top Universal Music Group Nashville executives have exited their roles: executive vp of promotion Royce Risser, evp of A&R Brian Wright and senior vp of A&R Stephanie Wright, according to Country Aircheck. Representatives at UMG Nashville did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Risser was promoted to evp in 2018. He began his career as an intern at MCA Records in 1991 and climbed the ranks as director, NE regional promotion, then director of national promotion and vp of promotion before assuming the role of svp of promotion for UMG Nashville in 2007.
Stephanie Wright joined UMGN more than two decades ago and previously served as vp of A&R. During her tenure with the label, Wright worked with artists including Kacey Musgraves, Luke Bryan and Sam Hunt, and was instrumental in albums including Musgraves’ Same Trailer Different Park and Hunt’s Montevallo.
Brian Wright also joined UMGN over two decades ago and was promoted to his evp role in 2018 and worked closely on albums including Jamey Johnson’s Lonesome Song, George Strait’s Troubadour and Chris Stapleton’s Traveller and From A Room Vols. 1 and 2.
The exits of the Wrights — who are married — and Risser come as Cindy Mabe officially began her role as UMG Nashville chairman/CEO on April 1, following former UMGN chairman/CEO Mike Dungan‘s retirement. Mabe was named president of UMGN in 2014 and with her rise to chairman/CEO, she becomes the first woman to serve as chairman/CEO of a Nashville-based major label group.
Earlier this year, Katie Dean left UMG after a two-decade tenure with the company; Dean had led MCA Nashville’s promotion team since 2015. In 2022, UMG Nashville’s Rachel Fontenot exited her role as vp of marketing and artist development, while vp of marketing Brad Turcotte left UMG Nashville to become partner at 615 Leverage + Strategy.
Meanwhile, former Arista Nashville artist Brad Paisley recently signed a deal with UMG’s EMI Nashville imprint.