Exceleration Music marks first year in business with series of key hires

Exceleration Music marks first year in business with series of key hires

Exceleration Music has marked its first year in business with a number of key new executive hires.

The fast-growing US company formed to enhance the future of independent labels and artists. Exceleration is a partnership between leading independent music executives Glen Barros, Dave Hansen, Amy Dietz, John Burk and Charles Caldas. 

Joining as head of global sales & retail marketing, Mike Gillespie (pictured left) will assume responsibility for Exceleration’s global sales, physical distribution and retail marketing. His background includes over a decade serving as senior vice president of commercial sales at Concord Music, where he oversaw the company’s sales division during a period of unprecedented growth. 

Prior to that, Gillespie was VP of sales customer operations at Universal Music Group and he has also held management positions at Red Distribution, Pavement/Zoo Entertainment and Relativity Records/Sony Music Group. 

Mike Gillespie said: “I’m thrilled to join the team and partners at Exceleration Music, many of which I’ve had the pleasure of working with over the years. The expertise and passion they bring to the industry along with exceptional vision are second to none. I’m honoured to be a part of it and look forward to a dynamic future.”

Bela Zecker (pictured right) joins the team as label manager, responsible for overseeing day-to-day communication with Exceleration’s label partners and ensuring the potential of their catalogues and releases are fully realised. 

Joining from Soundcloud, where she was senior manager, independent label Relations, Zecker is an executive with experience in artist management and music journalism. She has also served as member relations & commercial partnerships manager - Americas at indie rights agency Merlin, as well as various roles over several years at Ninja Tune.

Andy Lewis has also been appointed as commercial partnership manager. Working alongside Darin Soler, Exceleration’s head of global marketing & commercial partnerships, he will seek to maximise consumption and engagement for Exceleration’s content, working externally with DSPs and internally across the company’s team and its fast-growing roster of labels and artists.

Lewis spent 15 years at Sony Music, where he worked in several alternative artist marketing, product management, and global partner development roles – most recently as VP of partner development. 

Emma Walker joins as accounting & administrative assistant and will be involved in all aspects of the day-to-day functioning of Exceleration’s accounting department, including royalties and general business administration. Working within the finance team under Donna Feeley, Exceleration’s head of accounting & business administration, Walker’s previous experience includes work across several industries, including seven years as an A&R administration analyst at RCA Records. 

David Piechota has joined the finance team as revenue & royalty administrative assistant. Piechota also releases his own music under the name Dave Koda.

Glen Barros, founding Exceleration partner, said: “One of Exceleration’s guiding principles is to put people first in all that we do. So, despite our rapid growth, we are taking great care in building our team. I can truly say that this group – Mike, Bela, Andy, Emma and Dave – perfectly fit the ethos we’re creating here at Exceleration. They bring extraordinary talent to the company, they all demonstrate an incredible passion for the music and the people behind the music, and they’re simply great to work with. We are grateful and excited that they’ve decided to join the team.”

Exceleration’s new appointments follow a series of deals, with the company recently announcing a strategic partnership with LA indie label SideOneDummy Records, the acquisition of Chicago label Bloodshot Records, as well as an alliance with the estate of the late Justin Townes Earle.

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