Verve Label Group CEO Departs Following UMG Classics & Jazz Restructure

Following global consumption growth of classical and jazz music, Universal Music Group has restructured its Classics and Jazz division.

Early this morning, Universal Music Group (UMG) has confirmed that Verve Label Group President and CEO Danny Bennett will leave the company.  Bennett will continue to run RPM Productions, his own artist management and marketing company founded in 1979.

The abrupt exit comes as UMG reorganizes its classical and jazz operations following worldwide growth of both genres.

The company explained,

To capitalize on the worldwide growth in the consumption of classical and jazz repertoire, the company will focus its global artist development and marketing strategy for those genres under a unified management structure.

As part of the major restructuring, Verve Label Group will now form part of Universal Classics and Jazz.

Expanding Verve’s catalog, Universal Classics and Jazz CEO, Dickon Stainer, will assume direct responsibility for the New York-based label group.  According to UMG, Stainer will lead Verve with a global focus as well as manage international artist development.

Stainer will also oversee the label group’s marketing strategy under a unified management structure along with his current duties.  Overseeing the Classics and Jazz division, he’ll split his time between New York and London.

Graham Parker, Universal Music Classics President in the U.S., will report directly to Stainer.

Universal Classics and Jazz also features Deutsche Grammophon and the Decca Label Group.  Home to both Verve and Impulse labels, Verve Label Group’s current roster and catalogs include Diana Krall, John Coltrane, Ella Fitzgerald, Yuna, John Batiste, Cynthia Erivo, T Bone Burnett, Blake Mills, Tank and the Bangas, Shabaka Hutchings, The Comet Is Coming, Sons of Kemet, J.S. Ondara, Ezinma, and City of the Sun.

Speaking about the reorganization, Stainer explained,

Classical and jazz are amongst the musical wonders of the world.  Streaming has opened a flood of discovery and has further enabled us to ensure our artists have a global reach.

“The developing international success of Max Richter, Gregory Porter, Lang Lang, Jacob Collier, and Sheku Kanneh-Mason, among others, has demonstrated that we need to work with a seamlessly coordinated global approach achieves the greatest results possible on behalf of our exceptional artists.”

Lucian Grainge, UMG Chairman and CEO, showed his support for Stainer in his new role.

Dickon is an extraordinarily creative leader with an open-minded approach to identifying artists and then marketing them in ground-breaking ways.