Mike McCormack has been named Managing Director of Universal Music Publishing Group (UMPG) UK.
He succeeds Paul Connolly, who is stepping down from his role as President of Europe and Managing Director UK after 28 years with the company.
McCormack first joined UMPG’s U.K. business in 1999 as Deputy Managing Director and has signed and worked with artists and songwriters including Adele, Alabama Shakes, Lily Allen, Dangermouse, The Darkness, The Killers, MGMT and Sigur Ros.
The news is the second big change at UMPG this year, after long-time Australia boss Bob Aird stepped down in April, and follows the appointment of Mike Smith as MD of rival Warner/Chappell UK last month after the exit of Richard Manners.
For the last three years, he has served in an advisory role to Universal Music Publishing U.K.
In his new role, which is effective immediately, McCormack is based in London and reports to Jody Gerson, Chairman and CEO of UMPG.
“We’re thrilled to have an executive with mike’s experience, creativity and deep artist relationships leading our UK Company.”
Jody Gerson, UMPG
Jody Gerson said, “We’re thrilled to have an executive with Mike’s experience, creativity, and deep artist relationships leading our U.K. company.
“Mike has been responsible for bringing to UMPG some of the U.K.’s most successful and influential songwriters, and I’m confident that in his new role, he will build upon UMPG’s stature as the industry’s best home for songwriters.”
Paul Connolly (pictured inset) joined the company, then MCA Music, in 1988 as an A&R scout. He was appointed to A&R Director in 1991 and Managing Director in 1994.
In 1997 he became Vice President of MCA Music International in addition to his role of UK Managing Director and in 1999 appointed Executive Vice President, Europe and Managing Director UK of newly formed Universal Music Publishing – before being named President and UK MD eleven years ago in 2005.
Gerson continued, “On behalf of everyone here, let me also extend our thanks to Paul Connolly for all of his many contributions through the years.
“I’m deeply indebted to paul for his leadership, friendship and support, and I wish him nothing but the best with his future plans.”
Mike McCormack, UMPG
“During Paul’s tenure, Universal Music Publishing signed enormously talented songwriters across many musical genres and became a creative force in the U.K. He also assembled an industry-leading creative team that will continue to achieve great things for UMPG and our songwriters.”
On his return to Universal Music Publishing UK as Managing Director, McCormack said, “After spending time with Jody, I realised we share the same vision and ambition creatively, so it was a very straightforward decision when she offered me this incredible opportunity to work with her and Marc Cimino to lead the UK company and its stellar team to even bigger and better successes.”
McCormack added, “I’m deeply indebted to Paul for his leadership, friendship and support since joining UMPG and I wish him nothing but the best with his future plans. He is an exceptional person as well as a brilliant executive and we have had a lot of fun, as well as great success, working together over the years.”
Prior to Universal Music Publishing, McCormack was at 19 Music Publishing, where he helped Simon Fuller set up the company’s sports agency and worked across its roster of music artists and TV projects, including the creation of S Club 7.
He was Director of A&R at RCA Records and was part of the label’s team that worked with the original line up Take That.
He also worked closely with Annie Lennox and Morrissey on their solo projects. Before joining RCA, McCormack led the A&R team at Virgin Music Publishing that signed The Verve and The Prodigy, among many others.
He originally joined Virgin as an A&R Manager and signed artists including Terence Trent D’Arby, Stereo MCs and all the original members of Take That.Music Business Worldwide