Jody Gerson, Chairman and CEO of Universal Music Publishing Group (UMPG), is set to receive the ICMP Ralph Peer II Award for Outstanding Contribution to Global Music Publishing.
Gerson will be presented with the award by ICMP, the global trade body for the music publishing industry, at Abbey Road Studios in London on July 10. She is set to be the first female Chairman of a global music company to receive the award.
Gerson became the first-ever female CEO of a global major music company when she joined UPMG in 2015. She was at the helm of UPMG when it became a billion-dollar business for the first time in 2018.
“So, for me, what’s really important is that I’m not the only one. The way I can make a difference is No.1, run the company as a woman – not in the mirror image of the way men have done it all these years,” she said in an interview by Barneys New York CEO, Daniella Vitale, in late 2017.
“Since joining UMPG in 2015, Gerson has transformed the business into a global home for songwriters with annual revenues of $1.8 billion, more than doubling the company’s revenue,” notes the announcement.
Gerson has signed and works with superstars, including Elton John, Taylor Swift, Harry Styles, Kendrick Lamar, Bad Bunny, Adele, The Weeknd, Billie Eilish, SZA, Rosalia, Drake, Steve Lacy, Alicia Keys, Coldplay, Justin Bieber, Post Malone, Ariana Grande, H.E.R., Maren Morris, the Bee Gees, Prince, and more.
She also led UMPG’s acquisitions of the catalogs of Bob Dylan, Sting, Neil Diamond and others.
Gerson is also a champion for women in music, having co-founded the global non-profit She Is The Music. She also serves on the boards of directors of the USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative, The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, and the National Music Publishers Association, among others.
The award ceremony will be held during dinner at Abbey Road’s Studio 1, following a full day of ICMP events. ICMP’s AGM2023 will feature a keynote speaker and special music performance, as top industry representatives from across five continents gather to discuss key industry issues.
The Ralph Peer II Award was created in 2013 to honor music publishing leaders who demonstrate exceptional, global work, while protecting and promoting the work of songwriters and composers.
Ralph Peer II, chairman and CEO of independent music publishing company peermusic, received the inaugural ICMP Award for Outstanding Contribution to Music Publishing in 2013. Peermusic was started by his father, Ralph Peer.
Previous awardees include Irwin Robinson (2015), who served on the National Music Publishers’ Association Board for over 40 years and for 30 as its chairman; music trade fair MIDEM (2016); and Misa Watanabe (2018), chairwoman of the Watanabe Production Group.
“I am honored to be recognized by my peers at the ICMP. I am fortunate to be in a business I love, a company I am very proud of and the best part of all is that we support the greatest songwriters in the world.”
Jody Gerson, Universal Music Publishing Group
Ralph Peer II, ICMP Honorary President, Peermusic Executive Chair, said: “I am particularly delighted the ICMP membership have chosen Jody for this year’s award recipient. Jody has tirelessly advocated to defend songwriters’ rights and the value of music on a global scale.
“This award celebrates Jody’s commitment and actions to enhance the livelihoods of songwriters and music companies and to safeguard the future of music creators worldwide.”
Jody Gerson, Universal Music Publishing Group Chairman and CEO, added: “I am honored to be recognized by my peers at the ICMP.
“I am fortunate to be in a business I love, a company I am very proud of and the best part of all is that we support the greatest songwriters in the world.”
Jackie Alway Obe, ICMP Chair & Universal Music Publishing Group Evp International Legal & Industry Affairs, said: “Jody has made a tremendous, global impact on the music industry and inspired countless people along the way.
“I’m absolutely delighted that ICMP is honouring her with this well- deserved award, recognising her unique blend of outstanding business leadership, unparalleled creative vision, and deep personal integrity. The celebration at Abbey Road promises to be a very special night with our community and esteemed guests, and I am looking forward to it.”
John Phelan, ICMP Director General, added: “This Award is voted for by ICMP’s membership across 6 continents and is our highest accolade. Named in honour of ICMP’s co-founder Ralph Peer II, this year it will be bestowed on a fellow industry giant – Jody Gerson.
“Our July event series, in the crucible of culture that is Abbey Road, promises to be a night to come together, commemorate and celebrate.”
Music Business Worldwide