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Executive Turntable: Tyler Hubbard’s New Publishing Shingle Names GM; Tencent Music President/CTO Steps Down

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

Singer-songwriter Tyler Hubbard (known for his work as part of Florida Georgia Line as well as solo hits including “5 Foot 9”) launched the music publishing company Haylo Music. It will be run by general manager Josh Saxe, formerly of J C Saxe Creative Consulting. Saxe will work with Hubbard to facilitate the daily songwriting strategy of the company’s publishing and creative services roster. A Belmont University graduate, Saxe launched his career as an associate director of A&R at Round Hill Music and rose to a senior director role. In 2019, he joined Endurance Music Group, managing a songwriter roster that included Matt Stell, Paul Sikes and Seth Alley. – Jessica Nicholson

Tencent Music Entertainment announced that Zhenyu Xie, the company’s president/chief technology officer, among other roles, is resigning from his executive positions as well as his role as a member of the board of directors. A press release states the resignation is “for personal reasons” and will be effective Mar. 31; Xie will continue serving as a consultant to the company. Additionally, the board has appointed Tencent Music CFO Min Hu (a.k.a. Shirley Hu) as a director of the company, effective Mar. 31. – Chris Eggertsen

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UMG Nashville hired Jake Gear as vp of A&R. Gear brings more than a decade of experience as a publisher, producer and writer manager to the role. The Belmont University graduate began his career in CMT’s music and licensing department before heading to publishing posts at Magic Mustang Music, Sea Gayle Music and BMG. He later launched the creative publishing venture Hang Your Hat Music with Concord Music and Songwriter Hall of Famer Hillary Lindsey. Gear has also acted as a writer manager for Lindsey and produced albums by Flatland Cavalry, Hailey Whitters and others. – Jessica Nicholson

Gonzalo Rangel stepped into a new role at WK Records as vp of A&R and marketing. The Puerto Rican executive — who has been managing breakout acts including Mexican regional-pop star Ramón Vega and Puerto Rican alt-pop singer Robi since 2017 — will now be responsible for “leading the label’s artistic discovery and development, in addition to overseeing all marketing efforts for its frontline roster,” the WK team tells Billboard. “I am glad to be able to form part of The WK team as the label continues into its fourth year. I look forward to contributing my expertise and leading the new generation of music here at WK Records,” says Rangel. His accomplishments include contributions to the 2022 hit song “Pantysito” by Alejo, Feid and Robi as well as facilitating collaborations for Vega with industry heavyweights such as Carin León, Jasiel Nuñez and mariacheño superstar Christian Nodal. Rangel’s prowess was further evidenced when he secured Vega as an opening act for CNCO‘s farewell tour leg in Mexico and nurtured the development of emerging Puerto Rican producer OG Flamez. Rangel will be reporting to Horacio Rodriguez, CEO of WK Records. – Isabela Raygoza

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Stem added two new staff members, welcoming Nima Khalilian as head of international, artist & label strategy and Didi Purcell in an artist & label partnerships role. Khalilian joins Stem from Interscope, where he spent six years as the senior director of international marketing. Purcell joins from SoundOn, TikTok’s music distribution and artist services platform, where she worked as part of the artist & label partnerships team. Prior to SoundOn, Purcell oversaw pop & dance/electronic playlisting at Interscope. – Jessica Nicholson

The TBA Agency, which represents artists including Courtney Barnett, CHVRCHES and Mora, revealed several promotions and hires in New York and Los Angeles. New York-based Katie Nowak was promoted to vp of marketing and partnerships, while L.A.-based Corynne Fernandez transitioned from marketing and partnerships coordinator to director of marketing and artist development. Additionally, Ashley Torres was promoted to marketing and partnerships coordinator. TBA is also teaming with creative services consultancy The Department, founded by Jack Pitney and Kosta Elchev, to foster creative opportunities for the roster. Elsewhere, Nina Moss joined TBA as a marketing assistant. Agents Marshall Betts, Avery McTaggart, Amy Davidman, Ryan Craven and Devin Landau launched the agency in 2020. – Jessica Nicholson

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Sarah Scales was named senior director of digital at Activist Artists Management. In the new role, she will be tasked with creating and executing digital marketing strategies for artists on the Activist roster, including Weyes Blood, The Pretty Reckless, Empire of the Sun and The Lumineers. She is based in the firm’s Nashville office. Prior to boarding Activist, Scales spent six years developing and implementing promotional campaigns for global brands and artists at Marbaloo Marketing and Q Management Group. – Chris Eggertsen

Guitar Center named Kristin Shane executive vp/chief merchandising and marketing officer. Reporting to CEO Gabe Dalporto, Shane will oversee the integration of the company’s marketing and merchandising functions to enhance the customer experience. She will also be responsible for product, promotions, visual merchandising, omni-channel experience and activations. Shane comes to Guitar Center from PetSmart, where she was senior vp/chief merchandising officer. – Chris Eggertsen

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Aiden Cullen and Alex Gruszynski launched NOVA, a curated creative freelance network and marketplace designed to connect creatives with job opportunities across multiple mediums. NOVA soft-launched as a private Instagram account last year and has since filled approximately 7,500 jobs, according to the company, which says creative executives from companies including Apple, Capitol Records, Interscope Records and Spotify are “followers” of the platform. The NOVA app allows creatives to display their portfolios, grow their networks, display contact information for their representatives and more. Clients can do things like filter and search the platform’s directory of creatives, post jobs, manage applications, and create and organize talent lists that they can refer to when the time comes to fill future roles. – Chris Eggertsen

Róisín Warner was named head of marketing at Blackstar Agency. She was most recently a senior marketing manager at Believe and previously held roles at Universal Music Group and Warner Music Group. The company’s former head of marketing, Breyner Baptista, is stepping into a new role on the board of the agency as non-executive director of A&R. – Chris Eggertsen


Last Week’s Turntable: WMG Vet Takes Temp CEO Role at Deezer

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