PPL elects new board directors following diversity review

PPL elects new board directors following diversity review

PPL has elected new board directors at its AGM following a diversity review.

During the virtual AGM, Soriya Clayton (Demon Music Group’s in-house solicitor) and Charlotte Saxe (Warner Music UK’s VP, legal and business affairs, pictured left) were elected as PPL board directors.

Joy Ellington (VP Records, pictured right), who joined the board as a director in July after Roger Armstrong (Ace Records) stepped down, has been re-elected along with Peter Leathem, CEO of PPL.

The meeting included addresses from chairman John Smith and Peter Leathem, alongside presentations from CFO Chris Barton, COO Christine Geissmar and director of membership and communications Sarah Mitchell, with general counsel and company secretary David Harmsworth conducting the formal business.

The AGM detailed 2019’s financial results. PPL’s total revenue reached a record £271.8 million – a 10% increase on 2018. In 2019 the society distributed money at least once to over 108,000 performers and 11,000 recording rightsholders. It is the first time that PPL has paid more than 100,000 different performers in a single financial year.

The need for equality, diversity and inclusion in the music industry is extremely important

Peter Leathem

Peter Leathem said: “2019 was a strong year for PPL. We grew our collections by 10% and also celebrated our 88th anniversary, reflecting on PPL’s achievements and looking to the future.

“While this long-term future still looks positive, Covid-19 has caused significant hardship for many in the music community. This year, we have worked hard to support our members and the wider industry, contributing over £1 million to industry hardship funds so those who have fallen into financial hardship can access support. In April we also made an advance payment to our members of £23.9 million to bridge the gap between our traditional March and June payments. The total of these three royalty distributions equals £175 million paid out to performers and recording rightsholders this year so far.” 

Leathem added: “The need for equality, diversity and inclusion in the music industry is also extremely important. Today marks 100 days since Black Out Tuesday, when many in the industry, including PPL, paused to take a deeper look at their efforts in this area. We agreed we could do more, and do better. We have launched an internal diversity forum, which has an open remit to suggest ideas for change and have committed to appropriate areas of training, support services for black members of staff, and the funding of black organisations.

“We have also committed to reviewing the diversity of PPL’s boards and it is with great pleasure that today we welcome three new board members. I would like to thank Roger Armstrong, James Radice and Adrian Sear for their commitment to PPL in recent years and welcome Soriya, Charlotte and Joy to the PPL Board – we look forward to working with them as we represent our members’ rights in the UK and around the world.”       

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