Executive Turntable: Sony Music Publishing Promotes Three in UK; Spotify Hires Peas and Winter

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Have some more turkey, have some more pie — it’s time for another Executive Turntable, Billboard’s comprehensive(ish) compendium of promotions, hirings, exits and firings (and all things in between) across the music industry.

Sony Music Publishing UK promoted a trio of executives in its A&R department: Felix Canetty-Clarke to vp of UK A&R strategy & international research; Sarah Gabrielli to senior director of A&R, UK & Europe; and Saul Fitton to senior director of A&R, UK, effective immediately. Cannety-Clarke joined SMP in 2018 with a focus on research and analytics, and in his new job will continue those data-driven A&R initiatives and extend his focus across operations and strategy, the company said. Gabrielli and Fitton, whose start dates at the company were 2016 and 2020, respectively, will keep on keeping on in terms of driving opportunities for the company’s writers and artists. Since joining, Gabrielli’s portfolio has included beabadoobee, Baby Queen and Jim Legacy, while Fitton’s signees include Pablo Bowman and Bastille, among others. “Sarah, Saul and Felix are the very best talents in the UK,” said David Ventura, president and co-managing director of SMP UK. “Their passion for music, their drive and their unique daily dedication for our songwriters are exemplary. Together they bring the future of our company and with Tim we have been inspired to see everyone recognising their successes and achievements.”


Joshton “Peas” Harris joined Spotify as the head of hip-hop and R&B, artist partnerships, overseeing a team handling artist and manager relationships in those key genres. Harris previously held a similar marketing role at Amazon Music, which he joined in April 2020 following several years in talent management, marketing and other creative work during stops at Cinematic Music Group, Cashmere Agency and EQT Recordings. Over in playlists land at the music streaming giant, Cecilia Winter is the new global hits editorial lead, overseeing programming, editorial strategy and content brand extensions across Spotify’s family of ‘Global Hits’ playlists, including ‘Today’s Top Hits,’ ‘Pop Rising’ and the all-powerful New Music Friday. Previously at YouTube Music, where she rose to music programming manager in her five years there, Winter now reports to J.J. Italiano, the head of global music curation and discovery.

All In the Family: Billboard parent Penske Media Corporation promoted Brooke Jaffe to senior Vice President of public affairs and strategy, effective immediately. Over the span of four years, Jaffe has held a number of roles at PMC, including contributing editor, head of public affairs and communications, and, most recently, vp of public affairs and strategy. In her elevated position, she’ll keep driving impactful communications strategies on behalf of the PMC portfolio, which also includes Variety and The Hollywood Reporter, and she’ll continue to focus on public policy and external relationships. In recent years, Jaffe added oversight of the PR team for Dick Clark Productions and is a core leader for the LA3C festival. Prior to joining PMC, Jaffe held senior roles at fashion tech startup Eight and Bloomingdale’s. Jaffe continues to be based out of LA, where she reports to PMC CEO, chairman and founder Jay Penske.

ICYMI: While the week leading up to Thanksgiving is typically a slow week for HR departments, that was not the case at ChatGPT creator OpenAI, which fired its co-founder and leader Sam Altman under undefined circumstances, then hired him back a few days later after hundreds of employees threatened to quit … In less dramatic news, former CD Baby CEO Tracy Maddux announced he has stepped down from his role as chief commercial officer at Downtown Music Holdings.

Neon Records co-founder Patrick “Smiley” Cleary stepped down as CEO of the UMG-owned dance music label in order to focus on his Peppermint Blue Publishing company. The announcement, first plucked by The Music Network, was made in a memo to staff from Universal Music Australia and New Zealand chief Sean Warner, who noted that UMA’s “long standing partnership with Smiley has been significant and fruitful.” Founded by Smiley and Carl West as a label under Warner Music, the Australian imprint later went to Universal and over the years has worked Milky Chance, Skrillex, Rudimantal and Timmy Trumpet. Neon’s current roster includes Young Franco, Chloe Wilson and Nia Archives, among others. In his memo, Warner said Neon “has become an iconic label in ANZ thanks to [Smiley’s] vision, creativity, and passion, and we will take great pride in continuing to expand and enhance the Neon legacy, that we have all built together.”


Warner Records promoted Atticus George Carroll to vp of business and legal affairs, reporting to head of b&la Julian Petty out of Los Angeles. The Austin native joined WMG in June 2019 as director of business & legal affairs, and got her start in music as an artist before pivoting to practicing law on the business side of things. The move was first reported by Hits.

Nashville-based TV production company C.A.M.P. 615 added Shanna Strassberg as vp of development and strategy. Strassberg arrives from CMT, where she was vp of music and talent. Formed by producer/director Robert Deaton alongside Red Light Management’s Mary Hilliard Harrington and Coran Capshaw, C.A.M.P. recently scored a multi-year deal with CBS to produce its New Year’s Eve Live: Nashville’s Big Bash, which this year will feature Lynyrd Skynyrd, Thomas Rhett and Lainey Wilson. C.A.M.P. partner Mary Hilliard Harrington said Strassberg’s “relationships run deep and her instincts are always dead on. We just have an incredible level of trust with her, and I’m so happy she wasn’t scared to jump into the unknown with us as we build out C.A.M.P.” She can be reached at shannastrassberg@camp615.com.

Last Week’s Turntable: There Was a Minor Adjustment at the Emmys

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