Merlin, the global digital rights agency for the world’s independent label sector, has promoted Charlie Lexton to the newly created role of Chief Operating Officer (COO).
He now oversees a London-based team that includes: Ryan McWhinnie (who is promoted to Senior Director, Business & Legal Affairs) and Marta de la Hoz (Head of Data Analytics), plus new hires Shrina Patel (Director, Business & Legal Affairs), and Katie Eckett (Manager, Business & Legal Affairs), as well as providing management and support across Merlin’s broader global team.
Lexton will continue to lead Merlin’s licensing efforts with existing and new digital partners.
His expanded remit also includes management of Merlin’s burgeoning Data Analytics practice, which assists in analysis for dealmaking, produces pricing and benchmarking data, and explores genre, geographic and other trends.
Following stints at UMG and EMI and independent labels Dorado Records and City Rockers, Lexton joined Merlin as Head of Business Affairs in 2008, taking on the additional role of General Counsel two years later. He was elevated to Chief Commercial Officer & General Counsel in May 2018.
Lexton played a key role in Merlin securing licensing partnerships with the likes of Alibaba, Boomplay, Deezer, Facebook/Instagram, JioSaavn, NetEase, Pandora, SoundCloud, Spotify, Tencent, TikTok and YouTube Music.
“Charlie is part of Merlin’s founding team and has been pivotal to Merlin’s success. His promotion to COO ensures he remains central to our future.”
Jeremy Sirota, Merlin
Jeremy Sirota, who joined Merlin as CEO in January, said: “Charlie is part of Merlin’s founding team and has been pivotal to Merlin’s success. His promotion to COO ensures he remains central to our future.
“In the current circumstances, I think that continuity is especially important, with digital revenues such a lifeline to independent music.
“Merlin’s commitment to paying its members quickly, accurately and efficiently is as resolute as ever, and our recent licensing partnerships with Boomplay and TikTok show how we can move fast to secure new and incremental business.
“Charlie’s long-standing commercial expertise will enable our members to adapt and thrive in these challenging times.”
“I’m delighted to confirm my move to COO. Since its first days, Merlin has provided independents with best-in-class digital licensing, providing them with the means to compete on a level playing field and better control their digital business.”
Charlie Lexton, Merlin
Added Charlie Lexton, COO, Merlin: “I’m delighted to confirm my move to COO. Since its first days, Merlin has provided independents with best-in-class digital licensing, providing them with the means to compete on a level playing field and better control their digital business.
“That mission has never been so important as it is today. I am particularly excited about expanding and developing Merlin’s data analytics practice and by merging Data Analytics with Business Affairs there is even greater potential to deliver innovative new deals, improved partnerships and business intelligence for our independent members around the world.”Music Business Worldwide