David Joseph

David Joseph CBE is the Chairman & CEO of Universal Music UK & Ireland.

Joseph has led Universal Music UK since March 2008, nearly ten years after he initially joined Universal as General Manager of Polydor in August 1998.

Before taking the Polydor job, Joseph was head of artist development at RCA in the UK, a Sony Music label.

There, he worked with artists including Take That, Kylie Minogue and Annie Lennox.

As Chairman and CEO of Universal Music UK, David Joseph reports into Sir Lucian Grainge, Chairman & CEO of the global Universal Music Group.

Universal Music UK is home to labels such as Capitol, Decca, Island, Polydor and EMI Records, in addition to Abbey Road Studios.

In addition to his Universal role, Joseph is executive producer of Amy, the 2015 documentary about Amy Winehouse directed by Asif Kapadia.

In a 2018 interview with Music Business Worldwide, Joseph said: “We employ about 650 people here [at Universal Music UK], and I know that every day they are thinking, worrying, second-guessing, perfecting, investing, challenging and empowering artists – and to me, that has to come with a value. If it doesn’t, we’re under-selling ourselves, and we’re under-selling decades of instinct, experience and navigation.

“Our labels shouldn’t feel they have to apologise or self-justify the value they bring. We creatively empower our artists globally: I buy into that and I’m proud of it.”

Joseph has been a member of the BPI Council since 2005. And for three years from 2010 he was Chairman of the BPI’s Brits Committee, overseeing a well-received overhaul of the Brit Awards in 2011.

In August 2013 Joseph was appointed a member of the council of Arts Council England.

In the same year he worked with Doreen Lawrence, Baroness Lawrence of Clarendon, to gather music industry support for Unity, the O2 concert marking the 20th anniversary of Stephen Lawrence’s murder.

David Joseph News


‘This business is about what’s coming next. It always has been.’

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