Executive Turntable: UMG’s New Hong Kong Leader; Minor Adjustment at Television Academy

Friday funday, it’s time for another Executive Turntable, Billboard’s comprehensive(ish) compendium of promotions, hirings, exits and firings — and all things in between — across the music industry.

UMG hired Gary Chan to take on the dual role of managing director of Universal Music Hong Kong and senior vice president of Universal Music Greater China, effective immediately. Chan hangs his hat in Hong Kong and reports directly to UMGC chairman and CEO Timothy Xu. Chan was until very recently the chairman of IFPI Hong Kong and arrives to Universal from Media Asia Group Holdings Limited, where he was executive director for 15 year. In year’s past he also held MD roles at both Warner Music Hong Kong and EMI Music Hong Kong. The UMHK artist roster includes Alan Tam, Eason Chan, Xu Zhian, Jiang Haijia, JNYBeatz and others. “Gary’s remarkable contributions to the entertainment industry extend far beyond Hong Kong, marking his dedication and visionary approach,” said Xu. “His leadership will be instrumental in driving the next wave of growth for Chinese music culture and unlocking greater global success.”


Rickey Minor was elected 2nd vice chair of The Television Academy. He’ll serve a two-year term running from Jan. 1, 2024 through Dec. 31, 2025. Minor has won two Primetime Emmys for outstanding music direction and has received 15 Primetime Emmy nominations, including three nods each for music direction of The Oscars and the Kennedy Center Honors, and two for the Grammy Awards. He was the musical director and bandleader on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno from 2010 to 2014, and before that was musical director for American Idol for several years. In other election results, Cris Abrego was elected to a two-year term as chairman of the Television Academy, succeeding Frank Scherma. Other incoming officers are Sharon Lieblein, vice chair; Allison Binder, secretary; and Ann Leslie Uzdavinis, treasurer. Sherri Chung was elected governor to represent the music branch for a two-year term. Jeff Russo is the other governor representing the music branch. He is in the middle of a two-year term. —Paul Grein

Kobalt Music promoted Melissa Emert-Hutner to senior vp of creative, a role with oversight of the NYC creative team and a remit that includes signing more quality artists and writers. Since joining Kobalt in 2016 as vp of creative, Emert-Hutner has worked with a slew of talent, including IDLES, Bon Ever, Conor Oberst, First Aid Kit, Del Water Gap and others. Prior to Kobalt, she held senior roles at Nettwerk Music Group, Sneak Attack Media and Sanctuary Records. “Melissa’s hard work, diligence, teamwork, and passion for music makes this promotion very well deserved,” said Kobalt head of global creative, Alison Donald. “I have no doubt under her leadership, the NY creative team will continue to thrive.”


The Association of Independent Music (AIM) named Ruth Barlow as its new chair at the org’s 2023 annual general meeting on Thursday (Nov. 16). Barlow, a 21-year veteran of Beggars Group, where she is director of live licensing, will work closely with AIM CEO Silvia Montello and the board to support the UK indie music trade group over a two-year term. She replaces outgoing chair Nadia Khan. AIM, based in London, also named four new board members: Tim Dellow (Transgressive), Jackie Joseph (Chrysalis Records / Blue Raincoat Music), Peter Quicke (Ninja Tune) and Chloé van Bergen (Secretly Group). “As AIM’s new chair I want to make all members feel valued and heard and help strive for consensus, increasing engagement among all members of our community,” commented Barlow. “Above all I want to support AIM’s efforts to attract new members, particularly from regional and under-represented groups, and to help arm a new generation of independents with a shared sense of community and knowledge.”

Warner Chappell Music promoted BJ Hill to senior vp of A&R. Throughout his career, Hill has worked with songwriters and artists including Nicolle Galyon, Jordan Reynolds, Charles Kelley, Dave Haywood, Dan+Shay and more. Hill began at Warner Chappell as an associate catalog manager in 2002 and moved to the A&R department in 2005, working his way through the ranks over the past 18 years. He’s played a key role in songs including Dan+Shay’s 8x Platinum-RIAA certified “Tequila” and Lady A’s 11x Platinum RIAA-certified “Need You Now.” Ben Vaughn, president and CEO of Warner Chappell Music Nashville said: “I’ve been lucky enough to work with BJ for over a decade, and he’s always been an unwavering supporter, resource, and friend to our songwriters and the whole Warner Chappell team.” —Jessica Nicholson

SM Entertainment, Seoul
ICYMI: Kakao’s chief investment officer was indicted for allegedly manipulating SM Entertainment’s stock price to ward off HYBE’s rival bid for a stake in the K-pop company … Warner Music Latina appointed Brenda Carrasco as vp of marketing and artist strategy … and WMG chief Robert Kyncl laid out the label’s three-pronged approach to AI.

SESAC Music Group hired Ali Hernandez as chief human resources officer. Based in New York, Hernandez is tasked with leading HR strategies and initiatives across SESAC’s family of businesses, including The Harry Fox Agency, Rumblefish, Audium and Mint Digital Services, as well as the namesake performing rights org. She previously as CHRO at TIME and held roles at the Knight Foundation and the Miami Herald Media Company. John Josephson, chairman and CEO, said of Hernandez: “Her passion and expertise in driving business results through collaborative and inclusive solutions centered around people will be a key element of our ongoing drive to build a global organization and to elevate and develop our team around the world.”

Sound Future Foundation, a nonprofit that aims to accelerate climate innovation for the live event industry, appointed Kelci Zile as chief development officer. Zile, who is treasurer of the Sound Future board of directors, will use her new role at the org to lead fundraising efforts and also identify sustainable technology solutions for the live events industries. She is also a director of venture community at EnVest, and a venture partner at SNØCAP. “Live events are a phenomenal testbed to demonstrate that sustainability can be as good for the Earth as it is for the bottom line,” said Zile. “We need solutions that meaningfully cut emissions and increase profit to come to market as soon as possible.” Sound Future also elevated co-founder and chief marketing officer Brandy Schultz to president.

Nashville Notes: Jordan Josephs joined Nashville-based business management firm FBMM in a move to “help take our LA office to the next level.” Josephs works closely with FBMM’s director of West Coast operations, Paul Barnabe … The Country Music Association and CMA Foundation added new staff and promoted a pair of staffers. Ryan Nelson joined from Yamaha to be senior director of event operations; LeighAnn Rodd came from Cracker Barrell to be director of insights; and Victoria Rutledge departed NAMI Tennessee to join the CMA Foundation as director of major gifts. CMA also promoted Justin Randall to senior director of IT and Megan Wise to senior director of brand partnerships … Provident Entertainment, Sony Music’s Christian music label, promoted Charles Van Dyke to vice president of promotions. In his new role, Van Dyke will lead the radio promotions team for both Provident and Sony’s other gospel music label RCA Inspiration.

Last Week’s Turntable: Atlantic A&R Veteran Heads Home

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