PRS For Music CEO Robert Ashcroft has announced that he is stepping down on the 10th anniversary of his appointment, at the end of 2019.
The society has been transformed during Ashcroft's tenure, recording significant growth and launching three industry joint ventures: ICE, Network of Music Partners (NMP) and PPL PRS Ltd.
PRS also agreed a new concerts tariff earlier this year following three years of negotiations.
Ashcroft said: “Working for PRS has been by far the most compelling and worthwhile thing I have ever done. It has been a privilege to work on behalf of our members and I would like to thank them, our board, and above all my colleagues, for their support over the years.”
He has also played a major role in the adaptation of European copyright law to the internet era. His legacy includes the 2010 ‘hubs strategy paper’, which was central to the 2014 European Collective Rights Management Directive, while his argument about the ‘transfer of value’ convinced the European Commission that user-upload platforms and other social media should be made liable for copyright.
Nigel Elderton, PRS chairman, said: “Robert has given the organisation a decade of stability and growth, making it the considerable success it is today. He should be rightly proud of his legacy and the health in which he leaves PRS for Music. On behalf of all our members, staff and industry partners I would like to thank Robert for his service and the positive impact he has had. We wish him every success in the future.”
Speaking during the collection society’s AGM in May, Ashcroft attributed its record results to its ability “to keep pace with industry change”, although he was forced to open his address with a full explanation and apology for a series of overpayments in the previous 12 months.