Executive Turntable: BPI Names CSO; The Orchard Taps EVP of Sales, Artist & Label Management

Sophie Jones was promoted from director of public affairs to chief strategy officer at BPI; she will also serve as interim CEO until a permanent appointment is made following the recent exit from Geoff Taylor. Coinciding with Jones’ elevation, the communications, independent member services and research and insights department heads will now report directly to Jones, along with the public affairs team.

The orchard promoted Mary Ashley Johnson to executive vip for sales and artist & label management, USA and Canada. The company also named Katie Studley as vp, Nashville. Johnson will continue to drive revenue and market share for The Orchard while leading teams responsible for high-level client relations and strategy at key publications across the US and Canada. Studley will oversee the day-to-day operations of the Nashville office while developing new business relationships and further expanding The Orchard’s presence in Nashville. Based in New York and Nashville, respectively, Johnson and Studley report to the COO Colleen Theis.

Longtime senior executive, editor and music historian Jay Orr retired from Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum after more than 26 years. He most recently served as Executive Director of Research, Editorial and Content; he also managed the museum’s editorial board, overseeing the development of exhibitions, publications and more. Orr can now be contacted at jayorr@comcast.net.

Web3 company Yuga Labs (Bored Ape Yacht Club, CryptoPunks, Meebits) appointed Daniel Alegre as CEO with effect from the first half of 2023. He succeeds Nicole Muniz, who will remain as a partner and strategic advisor for the company. Alegre will work closely with Yuga Lab’s founders Wylie Aronow and Greg Solano to continue to grow the business. Alegre most recently served as President and COO of Activision Blizzard.

Roy Hennis was promoted to senior vp of sales and Nick McLeod was appointed vp for publishing at LyricFind. Hennis will continue to lead his team in LyricFind’s core markets as well as new products, including Lyric Videos and LyricIQ, while McLeod will oversee the publishing division’s international licensing efforts in key territories and markets.

The Copyright Alliance announced two major board members whose terms began on Sunday (Jan. 1): Todd Dupler from The Recording Academy, who will serve on the board for a second consecutive term, and Jeff Sedlik of American photographic artists. Both will serve two years at a time in the organization.

Kevin Hart‘s multi-platform media company Heart beat hired Sara Abdullahi as senior deputy director for people and culture, Annie Ballot as Senior Vice President of Global Media, Neil Wright as director of live & experiential and Namon Jones as director of brand partnerships. The company also promoted Tina Maher to senior vp for brand & franchise management. Abdulahi, who joins from ATTN:, will oversee talent management, compensation and benefits, training and development and employee relations; Balagot, who joins from NBCUniversal, will oversee the strategy and distribution of Hartbeat media, including expansion of distribution for LOL! Network across all platforms; Wright, who joins from Complex Networks, will oversee live events and experiences; Jones, who brings more than 20 years of experience driving digital sales, will develop and expand Hartbeat’s East Coast brand partnerships; and Maher, who joined the company in 2017, will oversee and execute strategies for monetization, growth and partnerships for Hartbeat’s owned and operated brands and franchises.

Deezer appointed Ingrid Bojner (Storytel) and Mark Simonian (retired chairman of global TMT investment banking at Credit Suisse) as independent board members. They were co-opted by the board to replace Alban Greece and Jeronimo Folgueira, who stepped down from their directorships last month. Folgueira will continue as Deezer CEO and work closely with the board on all relevant business matters. Bojner and Simonian’s mandates will extend through the remaining term of their predecessors – or until the annual general meeting is convened to approve the accounts for the financial year ending Dec. 31, 2024, and the fiscal year ending Dec. 31, 2023, respectively

Artist and music management company LESSON hired Tayla Dhyll as audience manager, a newly created role, and Sophie Lane as senior artist manager. Dhyll will be tasked with developing, implementing and managing digital strategies for artists, while Lanez will work on two of UROK’s new management signings. The company also promoted Chris Kasa to senior vp of artist management, making him responsible for new signings and managing the careers of Jade Bird, Lucky Kilmartin and Jo Hill; Afoma Ojukwu to artist relations manager; Steve Sasse to artist and repertoire director across record, publishing and producer management for the entire UROK roster; and Annabelle Scott-Curry to creative director on a consulting basis, working with UROK on Plan B and Jess Glynne.

Beasley Media Group hired Ariana Sheehan as director of digital content strategy. Based in Albany, New York, Sheehan will work closely with the Head of Digital Content Erika Beasley and Deputy Director of Digital Marketing Jennifer Williams to help drive the company’s digital content strategy and grow its audience. She comes from the product review and marketing company BestReviews.

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