Music Industry Moves: Thomas Coesfeld to Succeed Hartwig Masuch as CEO of BMG

Thomas Coesfeld has been named the new CEO of BMG and will succeed longstanding CEO Hartwig Masuch effective Jan. 1, 2024, the company announced Monday. Masuch will remain a consultant to Bertelsmann, BMG’s parent company.

The change in leadership is part of a long-term succession plan “which will be finalized at the end of the year,” said Thomas Rabe, chairman and CEO of Bertelsmann. In addition to his new appointment, Coesfeld will also receive a seat on the Bertelsmann Group Management Committee (GMC), which advises the group executive board.

“After 32 years at Bertelsmann and more than 14 years at BMG, now is the right time for me to hand over the reins to a new generation,” said Masuch in Monday’s announcement. “As our annual results will show, the company is in excellent shape both creatively and financially. I look forward to a seamless transition by the end of the year. I am sure that under Thomas’ leadership, BMG’s core values of service, fairness and transparency will continue to evolve and flourish, leading the company to even greater success.”

Masuch has been CEO of Bertelsmann’s music division since BMG was newly founded in 2008 with Rabe, who was Bertelsmann’s chief financial officer at the time. In recent years, the company has acquired catalog rights from Peter Frampton, Mötley Crüe, Jean-Michel Jarre, Simple Minds and Tina Turner, among others.

Said Coesfeld, “Under Hartwig Masuch’s leadership, BMG has delivered an impressive growth story and developed into a modern music company in which data, technology, and services play a key role. My aim is to continue this success story together with the company’s top management and its more than 1,000 employees worldwide and to leverage the enormous creative and entrepreneurial potential of the music industry for Bertelsmann. Music has played a vital role at Bertelsmann since 1956. I look forward to leading this legacy into the future.”

+ Baroline Diaz has launched her own label, Great Day Records, in partnership with Santa Anna and Alamo Records.

Formerly vp of A&R at Interscope Records, Diaz is a manager to Babyface Ray, and previously oversaw the promotional careers of DaBaby, Moneybagg Yo, Est Gee, Rob 49, Lil Poppa and more. Diaz will serve as the chairwoman of Great Day Records, which will be headquartered in New York.

“Baroline is a force to be reckoned with and a major player in the music industry,” said Todd Moscowitz, CEO and founder of Alamo Records and co-Founder of Santa Anna. “We cannot wait to work alongside her and develop new ways to scale her impressive roster and discover new ways to expand her growing empire.”

“I want my label, Great Day Records, to bring back real artistry and artist development,” said Diaz. “I want it to be a label where we are building the next generation of superstars in music and Alamo / Santa Anna is the best partner to execute that. They understand my vision and what the future of music is gonna look like.”

+ Warner Music Group has announced the launch of Rhythm City, a music-themed social roleplay experience on Roblox developed in partnership with Gamefam.

Choosing from a variety of roles including music producer, DJ, dancer, and many more, users will have the opportunity to explore, dance, and bond with friends while enjoying the world’s hidden gems and competing in mini-music challenges. In addition, Rhythm City will host virtual concerts and events featuring select WMG artists.

Over the years, WMG has brought several of its artists to the Roblox platform including Twenty One Pilots, Why Don’t We, Ava Max, David Guetta, and Royal Blood. Rhythm City will be available to play and explore on the Roblox platform on Feb. 4 across Android, iOS, Mac, Windows PC, and Xbox One.  

“As our lives become increasingly digital, exciting opportunities are opening up for artists and fans to engage and interact”, said Oana Ruxandra, chief digital officer and executive VP, business development at WMG. “WMG is focused on facilitating the foundations of these new experiences by building and experimenting across evolving ecosystems. This partnership with Gamefam sees WMG creating a place for artists and audiences to come together to define and contextualize their communities within living spaces.”

+ IFPI has appointed Adriana Restrepo to the role of regional director for Latin America and the Caribbean. Javier Asensio steps down after spending 12 years as the company’s regional director.

Restrepo will start her new role on Feb. 1 out of IFPI’s regional office in Miami and will report to IFPI chief executive, Frances Moore. The exec was previously president of Sony Music Andes, where she oversaw the company’s strategic operations in the Andean region (which includes Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Venezuela). Before that, she was president of Codiscos, one of Latin America’s longest-established independent record labels and publishers.

“Having worked directly with Adriana for a number of years as she served on our boards, I know first-hand the level of passion, commitment and knowledge of the Latin American music sector that she brings to the role,” commented Frances Moore, chief executive of IFPI.

Jesús López, chairman and CEO of Universal Music Latin America & Iberian Peninsula, said: “Adriana brings experience, knowledge and a great capacity for work, at a time when the challenges we face in Latin America continue to be enormous. There is nobody better than her to continue the great job done by Javier Asensio during the last decade. We welcome Adriana to this important new role.”

+ Halsey has announced the promotion of Maria Chon from day-to-day manager to brand manager of their makeup brands, about-face and af94.

“I am beyond thrilled to announce Maria’s new position. It is so exciting, as Maria has been an integral member of my team for 6 years,” said Halsey in the official announcement. “Her professionalism and dedication are appreciated everyday and I am lucky to call her a close friend after all this time. She was by my side from the very first conceptual conversations in developing about-face, and eventually af94, and she has been instrumental to the growth of the companies ever since. I can’t wait to see what the future holds with her by my side on this journey.”

Chon said, “I’m incredibly grateful for the opportunity to help develop these brands and continue bringing Halsey’s vision to life. After many years with this team, I couldn’t be more excited for what’s next.”

News of Chon’s appointment follows the about-face and af94’s partnership announcement with Live Nation Entertainment from last year. The partnership offers fan experiences throughout venues and festivals, encouraging individuality and makeup experimentation. Live Nation also made an equity investment to support the growing brands as they provide live music fans with an outlet for creativity.

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