Meet Universal Music Group’s new board

Universal Music Group goes public in seven days’ time.

Some 60% of the world’s biggest rightsholder will be listed on the Amsterdam Euronext stock exchange next Tuesday (September 21), leaving current parent Vivendi with just 10% ownership of UMG.

Today (September 14), we found out a whole lot more about the company Universal is today – and will become tomorrow – via a prospectus published by UMG for its current and future shareholders.

In addition to key details about UMG’s finances (see our report here for that), we also learned for the first time who’ll be making up the firm’s board after it lists in Amsterdam.

Of particular interest to the music industry will be the appointment of James Mitchell as as Non-Executive Director.

Mitchell is Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer of Tencent Holdings Limited and a Director of New York Stock Exchange-listed Tencent Music Entertainment Group.

Other names on the list include award-winning producer Judy Craymer, and Antoine Fievet, the Chairman and CEO of cheese brand Bel Group.

Below are the names of the new 10-person board as of September 20, 2021, and until the annual general meeting to be held in 2024:

Sir Lucian Grainge
  • Chairman & Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director.

Sir Lucian Grainge has worked with the likes of ABBA, Drake, Elton John, Jay Z, Katy Perry, Queen, Rihanna, The Rolling Stones, Sam Smith, U2 and Amy Winehouse across the course of his career

Grainge is a “sir” by virtue of being knighted by the Queen of England in 2006 for services to British business and inward investment, as well as his accomplishments in the music industry.

Vincent Vallejo
  • Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Corporate and Executive Director.

Based at the company’s corporate headquarters in Hilversum, Netherlands and reporting to Sir Lucian Grainge, UMG says that Vallejo is leading a number of corporate initiatives related to the company’s proposed listing on the Euronext NV in Amsterdam.

Vallejo has worked closely across UMG matters since joining Vivendi in 1998, most recently as SVP, Audit & Special Projects. Prior to joining Vivendi, Vallejo held positions at AGF-ALLIANZ France (Deputy CFO) and Ernst & Young Paris and Madrid.

Judy Craymer
  • Chairman of the Board and Independent Non-Executive Director.

Craymer is an award-winning producer who has extensive experience in the theatre, film, television and music industries. She originated the idea of MAMMA MIA! and co-founded Littlestar Services Ltd. in 1996 with Benny Andersson, Björn Ulvaeus and Richard East to produce the musical in London.

In the Queen’s Birthday Honours list of 2007, Craymer was honored with an MBE for her contribution to the music industry and in 2020, she was awarded a CBE for her services to theatre and charity.

Antoine Fievet
  • Vice Chairman of the Board and Independent NonExecutive Director.

Fievet is the Chairman and CEO of the cheese brand Bel Group, which has 33 production sites and a distribution network spanning nearly 120 countries.

His three decades of professional experience include 20 years as Bel Group’s CEO, where he has additionally served as Chairman since 2009.

Anna Jones
  • Independent Non-Executive Director.

Jones is the CEO and co-founder of AllBright, a global women’s network and members’ club founded in 2017.

She has more than 15 years of experience in leadership roles with expertise in content, digital disruption, strategic growth and business transformation.

Prior to founding AllBright, Jones served as CEO of Hearst Magazines UK from 2014 to 2017, where she oversaw 24 media brands. As Hearst Magazines UK’s Chief Operating Officer from 2011 to 2014, she had strategic and operational responsibility for the business overall, following the acquisition and integration of Hachette Filipacchi in 2011.

Cathia Lawson-Hall
  • Non-Executive Director.

Cathia Lawson-Hall is Head of Coverage and Investment Banking for Africa for Société Générale, where she oversees the overall relationship and strategic consulting with governments, large corporates and financial institutions in Africa.

Previously, she served as Managing Director, Co-Head of Debt Capital Markets for corporates in France, Belgium and Luxembourg.

Lawson-Hall joined Société Générale in 1999 as a financial analyst covering the telecommunications and media sectors before moving into financial consulting.

James Mitchell 
  • Non-Executive Director.

James Mitchell is Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer of Tencent Holdings Limited, where he has worked since July 2011.

James Mitchell has also served as the Chairman and Non-Executive director of the board of China Literature Limited since June 2017.

He is also a director of other listed companies including Frontier Developments Plc, NIO Inc. and Tencent Music Entertainment Group. He also holds directorships in various unlisted companies. Prior to joining Tencent, Mitchell was a Managing Director at Goldman Sachs.

Luc Van Os
  • Non-Executive Director.

Van Os is co-owner of Misset Uitgeverij, a B2B publisher of multimedia brands for the agricultural sector based in Doetenchem, Netherlands.

He previously served for 12 years as chief executive officer of Hearst Netherlands and its predecessors, home to titles including Harper’s Bazaar, Elle, Quote and Cosmopolitan. Prior to serving as CEO, he held different leadership roles at Hearst and its predecessors, Hachette Filipacchi Media and Quote Media.

Margaret FrerejeanTaittinger 
  • Independent Non-Executive Director.

Frerejean-Taittinger is the International Development Manager for the MICHELIN Guide, the restaurant rating system that publishes its yearly selections in over 30 countries.

Prior to Michelin, she served as the Director of Communications and Marketing for skincare company Laboratories Surface-Paris.

Manning Doherty
  • Non-Executive Director.

Doherty is Senior Vice President of GIC Pte Ltd., Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund, where he sits in the Integrated Strategies Group that primarily focuses on public and private debt and equity investments globally.

Prior to GIC, he served as Managing Director of Mount Kellett Capital from 2011 to 2015 and Managing Director of Oaktree Capital Management from 2006 to 2011.Music Business Worldwide

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