Universal names Sipho Dlamini new boss of South Africa and sub-Saharan Africa

Having confirmed the departure of Randall Abrahams, Universal Music Group (UMG) has appointed Sipho Dlamini as Managing Director of Universal Music South Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa (English-speaking).

Based in Johannesburg, Dlamini will report to Adrian Cheesley, Senior Vice President of Universal Music Group.

The new role sees a return to the recording industry for music veteran Dlamini (pictured).

The exec joins Universal Music Group after three years as the Chief Executive Officer of SAMRO, Africa’s leading music rights organisation, representing its members globally.

Dlamini, who joined SAMRO at the beginning of 2012 as General Manager: Marketing and Business Development, announced his departure from SAMRO last month.

Dlamini directly replaces Randall Abrahams  – the South African exec who has been MD of UMG in the territory since 2012, and who is best known to the public for his role as a judge on local TV talent shows Idols South Africa and SA’s Got Talent.

Dlamini said: “My thanks to Randall Abrahams for his commitment to the growth of the Universal Music Group brand. I’m honoured and humbled to lead the world’s premier music company on our continent at this exciting time for Africa in the music business.

Sipho small

“I’m honoured and humbled to lead the world’s premier music company on our continent at this exciting time for africa in the music business.”

Sipho Dlamini, UMG

“I am looking forward to working with a great team and continuing to build on the current success of the company and our artists.”

Adrian Cheesley, Senior Vice President, Universal Music Group said, “I am thrilled that Sipho has agreed to join Universal Music.

“His broad creative experience and artist relationships, combined with his ability to lead a high performance business, make him an exceptional choice as leader for our dynamic Sub-Saharan African operations.”

During his tenure, the society implemented new operating systems, saw increased revenue collection from licensees and improved composer and publisher benefits.

Dlamini’s other expertise ranges from running record labels, overseeing artist management and setting up recording studios in South Africa, China, Thailand, America and The Philippines for Creative Kingdom Records USA to international live event production including the FIFA World Cup opening and closing ceremonies in 2010 and large scale concert and festival production in Dubai and South Africa for Center Stage Management.

In addition, Dlamini has a background in strategic brand marketing for the telecommunications industry, film investment and television production.

When UMG boss Lucian Grainge re-signed his deal with Vivendi last summer, the French media empire highlighted Africa as a key area for music income growth before 2020.

It’s not the only one: Sony Music Entertainment recently upped its game in Africa with the appointment of Michael Ugwu as General Manager for its new Nigeria-based office.Music Business Worldwide

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