Mike Dungan will step down as Chairman and CEO of Universal Music Group Nashville after about a decade at the helm.
Dungan’s departure from the company also marks his retirement from the music industry after more than four decades.
UMG made the announcement on Monday (January 9), describing Dungan as “one of the most successful executives in the history of Country Music.”
The executive joined UMG in 2012 following the music company’s purchase of EMI Records where he was president of Capitol Nashville for 12 years.
During his tenure at Capitol Nashville, the label was named Billboard magazine’s Country Label of the Year for seven consecutive years from 2005 to 2012.
Dungan started his career in the music business at the age of 16, working odd jobs in a record store in Cincinnati.
“For 43 years the music business has been my home – smiling, dialing, selling, hustling, laughing, doing my part to help the art and magic realize its potential. And loving every minute of it.”
“For 43 years the music business has been my home – smiling, dialing, selling, hustling, laughing, doing my part to help the art and magic realize its potential. And loving every minute of it,” Dungan said.
“The solemn truth is that over time, that intensity takes its toll, and a lot of the dog has been knocked out of me… It is time to slow down – I look forward to devoting more time to my family and to my garden. I have an incredible wife who has put up with my nonsense for 45 years.”
The executive is retiring at the age of 69 years old.
At UMG, Dungan has overseen the careers of country artists including Luke Bryan, Keith Urban, Chris Stapleton, Lady Antebellum, Carrie Underwood, Little Big Town, George Strait, Eric Church, Darius Rucker, Alan Jackson, Shania Twain, Dierks Bentley, Maddie & Tae, Gary Allan, Vince Gill, Billy Currington, Sam Hunt, Kacey Musgraves, Brothers Osborne, Mickey Guyton, Parker McCollum, Priscilla Block, and Reba.
Dungan also held positions at RCA and Arista, where he helped launch the careers of Brooks Dunn, Alan Jackson, Pam Tillis, Diamond Rio and Brad Paisley.
Dungan will continue to serve as an advisor to UMG Chairman and CEO Sir Lucian Grainge after stepping down from his role.
“I am forever grateful to Sir Lucian Grainge, who eleven years ago handed me the keys to the best job in the world,” Dungan continued. “To him and to everyone at UMG, to all of those who have been my family-in-arms now and in the past, to all those creators whose art it has been my pleasure to represent… I am at a loss to express my love and gratitude. I am the luckiest man alive.”
Sir Lucian Grainge described Dungan as “a unique force.”
“while he won’t be serving in his CEO capacity, I’ve asked him to continue to contribute to areas that we’re both passionate about—breaking genre barriers and delivering critical support to artists past and present.”
Sir Lucian Grainge
Added Grainge: “He has had an incredible impact on the careers and well-being of so many in Nashville through the years – from artists to employees. After a brilliant four decades in Nashville, and with our team they are well-positioned for continued strength, Mike is making an admirable and well-deserved life change.”
“And while he won’t be serving in his CEO capacity, I’ve asked him to continue to contribute to areas that we’re both passionate about—breaking genre barriers and delivering critical support to artists past and present.
“I am deeply grateful to Mike for all he has done for our company and our artists and congratulate him on his unprecedented career success. I’m so pleased we will continue to have the benefit of his experience, deep relationships and wisdom.”
Music Business Worldwide