Jody Gerson has been named chairman and chief executive officer of Universal Music Publishing Group. The appointment is effective Jan. 1, 2015.
Gerson, who currently serves as Co-President of Sony/ATV Publishing, will succeed Zach Horowitz, who has decided to step down effective immediately, according to a press release.
In making the announcement, UMG Chairman and CEO Lucian Grainge — to whom Gerson will report — said, “Jody Gerson is simply one of the best music publishers in the business, and we are thrilled that she will be bringing her creativity, savvy and vast experience to UMPG. Jody represents a new breed of music industry leadership, with a keen understanding of the evolving role of music publishers in the digital era and a track record of artist successes that places her among all-time greats.”
On the departure of Horowitz, Grainge added, “On behalf of everyone at the company, let me extend our profound gratitude to Zach for his adept stewardship of UMPG and his decades of service to UMG. His versatility as an executive and leader is extremely rare and we wish him only the best.”
Gerson was appointed to her current role of Co-President for Sony/ATV Music Publishing in 2008. Her first signing at Sony/ATV was then unknown singer/songwriter Lady Gaga, who soon after became one of the most successful artists in the world. In 1996, Gerson signed a 15 year-old Alicia Keys. Gerson has also played an instrumental role in the careers of Enrique Iglesias, Pitbull, Shakira and Pharrell Williams, among others.
Gerson began her publishing career at Chappell music (the predecessor to Warner/Chappell) where she worked with numerous songwriters and recording artists including Bernie Taupin, R.E.M. and Rod Stewart. After six years at Chappell, she joined EMI as head of the company’s east coast publishing division.
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Additionally, Gerson served as a producer of films “Drumline” and “ATL.” She is currently serving as executive producer on “Drumline 2” for VH1.