Happy December? 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 global music industry.
Italian music data platform Musixmatch appointed Rio Caraeff to chief business officer. In his new role, Caraeff will lead business and revenue-driving initiatives and will be responsible for managing relationships with clients, partners, IP owners and other stakeholders at the company, which offers multiple solutions for displaying lyrics in search results, in apps and elsewhere. Caraeff is best known as co-founder and former CEO of music video platform Vevo, where he worked from its 2009 official launch until late 2014. Prior to building Vevo into a video powerhouse, he held a bevy of executive roles at UMG, Sony Pictures and Capitol Records, among other places. In recent years, Caraeff has served as chief commercial officer at spacial audio firm Syng and chief content officer at AR Headset maker Magic Leap. Musixmatch has backing by TPG, Micheli Associati, P101 Venture, United Venture and Piton Capital. “Rio is deeply passionate about the entire music ecosystem and his energy and excitement about his work has enabled his success at some of the most innovative and influential companies in our industry,” said Max Ciociola, Musixmatch founder and CEO.
Jake Kozarec was promoted to partner at Fortress Talent Management, a leading agency representing elite composers and music supervisors including Howard Shore, Philip Glass and Gustavo Santaolalla. Kozarec has been a Fortress mainstay since 2016 and has overseen the careers of composers Lorne Balfe (Top Gun: Maverick) and Matthew Margeson (Kingsman: The Secret Service), among others. “He shares the same values we do – hard work for our clients, good taste and judgment, and integrity – and was a perfect fit from the moment he joined the company,” said Fortress founders Robert Messinger, Rich Jacobellis and Randy Gerston. “We are very excited to see what the future holds.”
Many Fortress clients likely belong to the Guild of Music Supervisors, which just announced their new board of directors and changes to its leadership team. Lindsay Wolfington and Heather Guibert are the guild’s new president and vp, respectively, replacing Joel C. High and Madonna Wade-Reed in the roles. Wolfington and Guibert’s board includes newcomers Jonathan Leahy and Robin Urdang, along with returning members Joel C. High, Howard Pair, Todd Porter, Aminé Ramer, Jennifer Smith, Andrea von Foerster and Wade-Reed, the former vp.
Radio, Radio: Lazy slouch Ryan Seacrest will carry on as host of iHeartRadio‘s On Air with Ryan Seacrest and America’s Top 40 with Ryan Seacrest until the end of 2027, according to a recently minted contract. He’ll also continue working closely with both CEO Bob Pittman and COO/CFO Rich Bressler on major initiatives and hosting several events, namely the iHeartRadio Music Festival … “Rude” Jude Angelini was let go from SiriusXM on Nov. 16 after 19 years as host of The All Out Show on Eminem’s Shade 45 channel. He had been at the satellite giant longer than Howard Stern, who joined up two years later. “I knew I wasn’t a fit for the channel anymore,” he told The Detroit News following his unceremonious firing. “I was in an impossible situation.” … NPR hired Collin Campbell as its new senior vp of podcasting strategy and franchise development. Based in Culver City, Campbell arrives from Gimlet Media, where he was executive editor for new show development. His public radio bonafides include a stint at WNYC, where he helped create The Takeaway and Freakonomics Radio.
BBR Music Group senior vp of promotion Carson James and senior director of A&R Chris Poole had their positions eliminated by parent company BMG … Day After Day Productions announced the appointment of Christianne Weiss, former APA agent and vp and head of its adult contemporary music division, to serve as svp and head of touring … Diddy stepped down as chairman of REVOLT in the wake of three three sexual assault lawsuits … Former SM Entertainment chief Nikki Semin Han launched a new U.S.-focused K-pop company … and Atlantic veteran Riggs Morales joined the team at Def Jam Recordings as executive vp of A&R.
Amazon without Jillian Gerngross? That’s the new-normal after the respected exec vacated her role as general manager and director of Amazon Music for Europe, Australia and New Zealand after 12 and a half years at the wider company. “It is hard to believe that I have spent nearly 30% of my life with one company,” she observed in a LinkedIn post announcing the move, while thanking Paul Firth, Ryan Redingtoon and Steve Boom for their “unending mentorship and support.” Gerngross scored an Amazon internship in 2010 and soon made it official as a senior marketing manager of traffic for Amazon Fashion. After that dalliance in fashion, she moved over to Amazon Music in March 2013 and never left, taking roles in artist relations, customer engagement and marketing before nabbing her most recent title three years ago. For her efforts, Billboard recognized Gerngross as one of this year’s International Power Players. After her last day at Amazon, she joined tech firm Nothing as vp of marketing.
Entertainment company Neon Coast, founded by music industry entrepreneur and Kane Brown manager Martha Earls, has appointed Janie Whitefield as director of digital. Whitefield will oversee digital strategy for Neon Coast management clients including Brown, Restless Road, Dylan Schneider, Nightly and more. Whitefield previously spent four years as creative director at Venture Music.
Opus 3 Artists absorbed the staff and artists of Magnum Opus Artists into its vocal division, starting in the new year. Caroline Woodfield will hand over the reigns of the division to Nathan Wentworth in April, while MOA artist manager Trevor Newman will return in the same role. Opus 3 Artists’ roster includes instrumentalists, vocalists, conductors, composers, chamber music ensembles, and touring chamber and symphony orchestras. The firm is part of an alliance headed by the San Francisco Conservatory of Music which includes sister artist management company Askonas Holt and recording label Pentatone.