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Latin Recording Academy Names Manuel Abud CEO

Outgoing CEO Gabriel Abaroa Jr. will move to a newly created President Emeritus role

The Latin Recording Academy as part of an ongoing reorganization of its leadership team has named Manuel Abud as its new CEO, effective August 1.

Gabriel Abaroa Jr., the Latin Recording Academy’s outgoing president and CEO, will move into a newly created president emeritus position, a senior advisory role that will include working on assigned strategic projects while assisting the new CEO in the transition.

Abud was previously the Academy’s COO, joining the organization in 2019 and leading the Academy through a major reorganization as well as taking a leap into digital content development.

Abud will lead an executive team that includes Luis Dousdebes, chief awards, membership and preservation officer; Javier Aguirre, chief financial officer; Davina Aryeh, chief business development officer; Laura Dergal, vice president of marketing and content development; Iveliesse Malavé, vice president of communications; and Aida Scorza, senior vice president of awards.

Tanya Ramos-Puig, who was appointed president of the Latin Grammy Cultural Foundation in April, will continue reporting to both the Board of the Foundation and the CEO of The Latin Academy.

“As Chairman of the Board of Trustees, which actively oversees the growth and social impact of this great organization, I am delighted to have led a succession plan that was designed with professionalism, respect, love and consistency,” Eduardo Hütt said in a statement. “Several candidates were considered to replace Gabriel’s unique leadership style, and we agreed that Manuel Abud meets the established criteria, excelling in ways that guarantee our organization the leadership required to accomplish its goals over the next decade. The plan was carefully executed, and Manuel was groomed over an extended period.”

“Leading The Latin Recording Academy has been a very significant part of my professional career and a great foundation for my future endeavors,” Abaroa said. “We achieved tremendous progress and growth over the past two decades. I’m eager to transition to a new role that won’t be as time consuming and certain that Manuel will take us boldly into our next chapter.”

“I am honored to have the opportunity to lead The Latin Recording Academy,” Abud said. “Before coming here in 2019, I had long admired the organization’s excellence, and I look forward to building on its rich heritage of supporting and honoring Latin music and ushering in a new era of growth and impact.”

“This is a wonderfully executed succession plan,” Harvey Mason jr., chair & interim President/CEO of the Recording Academy, said in a statement. “Having Manuel in the role of COO for two years, where he oversaw the day-to-day operation of the organization was invaluable in equipping him to lead it now. Manuel is a seasoned executive with an excellent background in content development, distribution and international markets. As he takes the reins, he will benefit from Gabriel’s tenure, continued presence and unrivaled passion for this organization.”

Before coming to The Latin Recording Academy, Abud was CEO of Azteca América where he implemented a full-scale turnaround of the network and spearheaded its November 2017 acquisition by HC2 Holdings, Inc. Before Azteca, he spent 14 years at NBCUniversal where he held a wide range of leadership positions, including president of the Telemundo Station Group and president of Telemundo Cable, where he founded mun2. Previously he was president of CBS Telenoticias.  

Some of Abaroa’s key accomplishments include implementing a strong Board of Trustees while fostering a healthy relationship with the Recording Academy. In addition, he was responsible for the transition of the Latin Grammy® telecast from English to Spanish. Most recently in 2018, the organization signed an agreement extending the partnership established in 2005 with Univision through 2028. Abaroa also led the establishment of the Latin Grammy Cultural Foundation in 2014. The Foundation furthers international awareness and appreciation of the significant contributions of Latin music and its makers to the world’s culture through college scholarships, grants and educational programs.