Executive Turntable: Universal Music Publishing Names Nordics Managing Director; Arista Hires GM
Also this week: Warner Chappell Music boards a president of Asia Pacific, FUGA appoints a chief commercial officer and more.
Jonas Wikström was promoted to managing director of the Nordics at Universal Music Publishing Scandinavia, succeeding Martin Ingeström, who will remain with the company as chairman of UMP Nordics until his retirement in June. Reporting to UMPG COO Marc Cimino, Wikström is responsible for UMPG’s creative and business operations in the Nordics; he was most recently executive vp of A&R/creative.
Veronica Sanjines was named GM at Arista Records. The New York-based executive will report to Arista president/CEO David Massey as she oversees general operations for the label and collaborates with the entire roster. She was most recently vp of marketing at Warner Records.
Arica Ng was named president of Asia Pacific at Warner Chappell Music. She joins the company from Meta, where she served as head of music business development in the Asia Pacific.
FUGA appointed Dorothée Imhoff as chief commercial officer, Liz Northeast as senior vp of EMEA and Sven Zeevalk as global head of operations. Meanwhile, former chief commercial officer David Driessen will become chief business officer of FUGA’s parent company, Downtown Music, while Darren Owen has been promoted to COO at FUGA. Imhoff has been with FUGA since 2014, when he joined as a business development consultant. Northeast, who was previously FUGA’s GM, U.K., will be responsible for the company’s commercial strategy and business within the wider U.K. and EMEA markets. Zeevalk, who was previously regional head of operations at FUGA, will be responsible for the company’s global operations, including overseeing the regional heads of APAC, EMEA and Americas as well as all client integrations and the global support team. He’s been with FUGA since 2017, when he joined as content manager. Erica De Marchi will take on the role of regional head of operations following Zeevalk’s promotion.
John Coletta was promoted to senior vp & managing director of international at BMI; he was previously vp of international legal & business affairs. Based in New York, Coletta will report to BMI executive vp of licensing & creative Mike Steinberg, while overseeing the company’s international department, working closely with foreign performing rights societies to improve business practices and identify growth opportunities. He will additionally work to modernize BMI’s reciprocal agreements and oversee global copyright initiatives. He succeeds BMI vp of international society relations Karen Buse in the role; Buse helped manage the international team on a temporary basis.
Songwriter-producer Bloodpop founded and launched game development studio Genpop Interactive alongside former DeNA and BANDAI NAMCO executive Aubrey Tennant; he will serve as CEO and game director. The studio’s focus is on “building original AAA games that will drive forward the next-gen of music, fashion and gaming culture,” with its first project described as “an ambitious third person shooter with novel movement and combat mechanics.” The company recently raised $6.5 million in seed funding. In a statement, Bloodpop said: “At a time when low risk tolerance among established studios has resulted in predictable re-releases capitalizing on millennial nostalgia, Gen-Z is eager for new IP that speaks to them, and has a long legacy that defines their generation. Major studios have become complacent, relying on giving the Weekend at Bernie’s treatment to their old IP with their publicly traded necromancy. We aren’t just on a mission to create the next great game, but nurture the next generation of popular culture.”
300 Entertainment promoted three executives: Ryan MacTaggart to senior vp of artist development & lifestyle marketing, Gary “Bolo” Sargeant to vp of urban & rhythm promotion and Michael McArthur to vp of A&R. MacTaggart will continue to focus on immersive marketing and artist development, Sargeant will lead promotion at the urban and rhythm formats, and McArthur will sign and develop new talent. All three are based in New York.
Shawna Spears was named vp of brand marketing at Venice Music. Joining from TikTok, where she led artist and manager partnerships in hip-hop and R&B, Spears will build and lead the company’s brand marketing team, develop and execute the marketing roadmap across distribution channels, and more. She reports to Venice Music executive vp and GM Fadia Kader and can be reached at email@example.com.
The American Association of Independent Music (A2IM) promoted Evan Plake to director of partnerships and Chirag Patel to associate of membership. Additionally, Greyson Zeng was hired as community manager and Nicolle Gutierrez Ospina was hired as executive assistant and accounts administrator. Plake oversees brand partnerships and creative collaborations across the organization’s membership, Patel will continue connecting and supporting indie labels, and Zeng will help grow and curate A2IM’s digital and in-person community. Gutierrez Ospina joins from Gold Business Management. Plake can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, Patel can be reached at email@example.com, Zeng can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and Gutierrez Ospina can be reached at email@example.com.
Michelle Teh was named senior vp of global classics & jazz at Universal Music Group. She assumes the role after serving on UMG’s global priorities team.
Jesus Trivino is taking on an expanded role at TIDAL; he will continue to lead the company’s Latin team but will now also serve as head of TIDAL’s industry relations (for general market) team.
Vanessa Kanapin was named director of A&R for Germany, Switzerland and Austria at Ultra International Music Publishing. The Berlin-based executive will report to company founder/CEO Patrick Moxey. She joins Ultra from German independent publisher Budde Music, where she was A&R and song plugging manager. Kanapin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Former Virgin EMI Records senior director Tony Barnes was announced as the co-founder of Karta, a metaverse studio established in 2021 that provides experiential marketing for musicians, brands and sports teams. He co-founded the company with CEO Erik Londré. “Since its launch, Karta has delivered successful projects across Roblox, Fortnite and Decentraland for the likes of Amazon Music, Fnatic, Unilever and Ronald McDonald House,” reads a press release, which notes the company also recently built a fan hub on Roblox for K-pop group TWICE. Barnes can be reached at email@example.com.
Jason Leiss was promoted to business manager at FBMM, where he will continue to lead a team of five and oversee all financial aspects for his clients in both business and personal finance.