Universal Music Publishing Group has made a significant change to its management team in Europe with the appointment of Mike McCormack to the position of managing director of UMPG’s UK operations.
In his new role, effective immediately, McCormack will report to Los Angeles, California-based Jody Gerson, chairman and CEO of UMPG.
McCormack replaces Paul Connolly, one of the longest standing music publishing executives in the UK. Connolly - who joined in 1988 what was then MCA Music, and who ascended to the role of MD in 1994 - is stepping down with immediate effect. Connolly also relinquishes his role as president of Europe, which he held since 2005.
Sources at UMPG say that Connolly will not be replaced as head of Europe, Gerson preferring a more flexible structure with European managing directors now reporting to UMPG's global management team. In Gerson’s vision, this structure would allow for a better flow of information between the company’s leadership, especially in the functions of signing, developing and marketing the company's songwriters and catalogues on a global basis,with a greater involvement of the regional teams.
McCormack first joined UMPG’s British company in 1999 as deputy managing director. For the last three years, he has served in an advisory role to Universal Music Publishing UK. He has been involved with such artists and songwriters as Adele, Alabama Shakes, Lily Allen, Dangermouse, The Darkness, The Killers, MGMT and Sigur Ros.
“We’re thrilled to have an executive with Mike’s experience, creativity, and deep artist relationships leading our UK company,” said Gerson. "Mike has been responsible for bringing to UMPG some of the UK’s most successful and influential songwriters, and I’m confident that in his new role, he will build upon UMPG’s stature as the industry’s best home for songwriters.”
Gerson also thanked Connolly "for all of his many contributions through the years. During Connolly’s tenure, Universal Music Publishing signed enormously talented songwriters across many musical genres and became a creative force in the UK. He also assembled an industry-leading creative team that will continue to achieve great things for UMPG and our songwriters.”
“After spending time with Jody, I realised we share the same vision and ambition creatively, so it was a very straightforward decision when she offered me this incredible opportunity to work with her and Marc Cimino to lead the UK company and its stellar team to even bigger and better successes,” said McCormack.
Prior to Universal Music Publishing, McCormack was at Simon Fuller’s 19 Music Publishing, and was previously director of A&R at RCA Records, at the time when Take That was signed to the label. McCormack also had a stint at Virgin Music Publishing.