UMG’s East Coast labels officially restructured via ‘Republic Corps’; Def Jam, Island, Mercury, Republic will operate ‘independently’ while tapping into ‘integrated departments’

Jim Roppo, who steps up to become President and COO of the new Republic Corps label group

More big news today (March 12) from Universal Music Group as the company’s restructuring of its US-based frontline labels continues.

UMG’s East Coast-based labels, including Def Jam, Island, Mercury, and Republic have been officially restructured around a “central operational hub” called Republic Corps.

According to an official announcement, as part of this new “collective”, each individual label “maintains and operates with full independence and creative autonomy”.

Jim Roppo has been named the President and Chief Operating Officer of Republic Corps, reporting directly to the co-chiefs of the label group, Monte Lipman and Avery Lipman.

New York-based Republic Corps confirmed today that Roppo would “spearhead strategy and operations working with [our] individual labels; leading the Corps team and integrated departments”.

Republic Corps today additionally confirmed the leaders who will continue to run each of its individual labels:

  • Republic Records is led by Wendy Goldstein (President and Chief Creative Officer);
  • Mercury Records is led by Tyler Arnold (President) and Ben Adelson (General Manager);
  • Island Records is led by Justin Eshak and Imran Majid (co-CEOs),
  • Def Jam Recordings is led by Tunji Balogun (Chairman and Chief Executive Officer);
  • IMPERIAL Music and Casablanca Records are both headed up by Glenn Mendlinger (President).

The teams of these individual labels will interface with the Republic Corps central team via the below operations:

  • Promotion: Gary Spangler, according to today’s announcement, will be “at the forefront” of Promotion at Republic Corps, together with his team including Lucas Romeo and Ayelet Schiffman, plus format leads Natina Nimene (Urban), Brett Dumler (Pop), Davey Dee Ingenloff (Rhythm), Manny Simon (Adult) and Amanda Dobbins (Rock). Spangler was previously Head of Promotion for Republic Records;
  • Global Marketing: Mike Alexander, formerly GM of Island Records, will assume the Head of Global Marketing role at Republic Corps. He will be supported by execs dedicated to each label: Myra DeCastro (Def Jam Recordings), Steve Rowen (Island  Records), and Zoe Briggs (Republic Records/Mercury Records);
  • Media: Joseph Carozza, previously Head of Media at Republic Records, has now been appointed to oversee media strategy across all labels at Republic Corps. His team of PR execs will also each be dedicated to a Republic Corps label: Beau Benton (Republic Records), Marisa Bianco (Mercury  Records), Lauren Ceradini (Def Jam Recordings), and Lauren Schneider (Island Records).

Elsewhere at Republic Corps, Kevin Lipson, who currently helms Global Commerce, will take on an expanded “Chief lieutenant” role with a focus on revenue strategy. Republic Corps says Lipson will be a “pivotal member of the leadership team”.

Steve Gawley will continue as Executive Vice President of  Business & Legal Affairs and Business Development at Republic Corps, while Joe Schmidt will remain as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. Both will be key members of the leadership team reporting directly to Monte and Avery Lipman.

Additional components of the Republic Corps team include Jenny Beal (Production), Brittney Ramsdell (Creative Synchronization),  Meredeth Oliver and Liza Corsey (A&R Administration), Data & Analytics and more.

Today’s unveiling of Republic Corps on the East Coast follows last week’s news that UMG’s frontline West Coast label groups – Interscope, Geffen A&M, and Capitol Music Group – are now officially consolidated under the new name of Interscope Capitol Labels Group (ICLG).

ICLG is comprised of all artists, labels, and personnel within the companies formerly named Interscope Geffen A&M and Capitol Music Group.

Interscope Capitol Labels Group is headed up by Chairman & CEO, John Janick in Los Angeles.

Also on Tuesday, on the West Coast, Interscope Capitol Labels Group (ICLG) appointed 13 executives to key positions and leadership roles.

On Monday (March 11), ICLG promoted or named 13 executives to key positions spanning its IGA Pop/Rock and IGA Urban arms.

On Friday (March 8), Gary Kelly and Jason Kawejsza were elevated to primary positions at Interscope Capitol Labels Group (ICLG).

Kelly has been appointed Chief Revenue Officer and General Manager, and Kawejsza has been named Executive Vice President, Head of Business & Legal Affairs for the company.

Steve Berman and Annie Lee have also been elevated to “primary positions” at Interscope Capitol Labels Group.

Berman has been promoted to Vice Chairman and Lee to the role of Chief Operating Officer.

Initial details of the restructuring of Universal’s labels in the US were announced by UMG Chairman and CEO Sir Lucian Grainge last month.

Since that announcement, UMG has confirmed that a “re-designing” of its global organizational structure is underway, which it said will generate EUR €250 million (USD $270 million) in annual cost savings.Music Business Worldwide

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