Oak View Group (OVG) has hired five executives to lead its team at the newly-named Climate Pledge Arena, future home of NHL hockey team the Seattle Kraken.
They are: David Curry as vp of technology, Nick Vaerewyck as vp of programming, Randy Foster as director of event production, Damon Murray as director of engineering and Christine Spiller as senior director of event services. All appointments are effective immediately.
Curry has 25 years of tech experience under his belt. Prior to joining the team at Climate Pledge Arena, he worked with the Seattle Mariners for 22 years, serving as vp of technology for the final 13. In that role, he led all back office, audio/visual and facility technologies for the Mariners at Safeco Field (T-Mobile Park), the Peoria Sports Complex in Arizona and the Academy in the Dominican Republic.
Vaerewyck most recently served as senior vp of programming and business operations at Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum on Long Island, New York, where he oversaw the facility’s reopening following a $180 million renovation. He began his entertainment career at Talking Stick Resort Arena and Comerica Theatre in Phoenix, where he served as director of event booking. In his new role, he will be responsible for strategic content programming of all concerts, family shows, and special events and facilitate the NHL hockey and WNBA basketball schedules.
Foster has worked as a production manager, tour manager and promoter rep for 30 years. He was most recently the director of production for AEG Presents in Seattle, where he oversaw the production of 650 shows annually in the four-state region. Before that, he served as the originating tour manager for Marvel Universe Live for Feld Entertainment and as director of events at the Bridgestone Arena, home of the NHL’s Nashville Predators.
Murray arrives at Climate Pledge Arena from the Atlanta Hawks Basketball Club and State Farm Arena, where he worked as chief engineer and managed HVAC, plumbing, painters, maintenance, locksmith and electrical staff. Prior to that, he served as assistant general manager of the U.S. Cellular Center (Harrah’s Cherokee Center-Asheville) in Asheville, NC and held multiple roles at the Spectrum Center, home of the NBA’s Charlotte Hornets.
Finally, Spiller most recently served as senior director of venue operations at Pepsi Center in Denver, where she led the overall guest relations and experience vision and directed logistics and event implementation for concerts, the Colorado Avalanche, the Denver Nuggets and the Colorado Mammoth. She also worked for eight years at Kroenke Sports & Entertainment, where she executed hundreds of events between all of the company’s venues including Pepsi Center, Dick’s Sporting Goods Park and the Paramount Theatre.
Climate Pledge Arena is slated to open in 2021. It will also host the WNBA’s Seattle Storm.
Nick Osborne has been promoted to senior vp, digital strategy & business development at Capitol Music Group (CMG).
The Los Angeles-based Osborne, who reports to CMG COO Michelle Jubelirer, will lead a team of digital marketers, media planners/advertisers, developers, digital media designers, insights analysts, CRM specialists and social media managers who provide services for CMS and its artist roster across the company’s portfolio of labels. He will additionally oversee all of the company’s digital agreements and will continue to co-lead Capitol’s Innovation Center, which he co-founded in 2018.
Since Osborne joined CMG in 2016 as director of digital strategy & product, he has developed a number of innovative initiatives in the digital realm and helped the company to become the first major U.S. label group to bring all digital advertising in-house, using artist data to enable more cost-effective ad buys. He also developed a proprietary marketing tech platform that is now used throughout Capitol’s parent company Universal Music Group (UMG) and powers over 300 artist websites worldwide.
Osborne additionally leads CMG’s YouTube audience strategy, working on key partnerships with multi-channel networks and creators including World Star Hip Hop, The District and The Nations. During the pandemic, he also led strategies to work with key digital partners including Facebook, TikTok and YouTube to provide opportunities for artists and best practices for them to engage with fans online. Finally, he co-leads CMG’s podcast strategy, which produces new and original music-focused content with digital partners and invests in podcasts that have promotional and A&R value.
Osborne formerly led digital strategy for UMG Canada, which he joined as a web developer creating bespoke artist websites and online campaigns. He is a co-founder of Physical Presents, a UMG Canada dance music imprint that notably signed Juno Award winner Felix Cartal.
Neil Jacobson’s new songwriter-producer management company Hallwood Media has hired Cory Litwin as executive vp. Litwin brings his mult-client roster with him to the company, including songwriter-producer-artist Murda Beatz and his writer-producer collective Murda Gang, Daysix & Zypitano, Tyler Armes, JJ Stevens, Nas Moore and Foster.
Litwin launched his career as a promoter and producer of large-scale events and parties in his hometown of Toronto, including early shows for Drake and The Weeknd. He later formed 2wenty 2wenty Music Group with Murda Beatz as his first client.
Digital music company Believe has hired Guillaume Quelet as global licensing director. He will report to Believe’s head of digital retail Gideon Mountford.
In his new role, the Paris-based Quelet will lead licensing discussions for Believe and its subsidiary TuneCore with established digital players while identifying and working with early-stage platforms and services.
Before joining Believe, Quelet served as senior director of global business development and digital strategy at Sony Music Entertainment in New York, where he was charged with growing Sony Music’s digital music distribution business and revenues by negotiating global and multi-territorial catalog license deals. He has also held senior-level positions at Warner Music and V2 Records.
Independent music company PIAS has brought on Tom Hoare as UK head of digital, effective immediately.
Hoare’s hiring marks his return to PIAS, where he previously worked as digital channel manager before departing the company in 2015 to become senior digital marketing manager at Polydor Records. He later served as head of digital at both Universal Pictures and Sony Music’s Syco label.
In his new position, in which he will report to UK managing director Jason Rackham, Hoare will be responsible for the strategy, direction and management of PIAS’ UK labels’ digital activities, including digital marketing, social media and the exploitation of the company’s audio and audio-visual recordings via commercial digital music platforms.
Sony/ATV chairman and CEO Jon Platt has been named to the board of trustees at the Berklee College of Music. His term begins Oct. 1.
Since Platt took the helm at Sony/ATV, the company has increased the representation of women and people of color in its executive ranks, including the senior leadership team. Over the course of his career, he has signed and collaborated with songwriters including Jay-Z, Beyoncé, Drake, Kanye West, Pharrell Williams, Rihanna and Usher.
Prior to Sony/ATV, Platt served as chair and CEO of Warner Chappell. He also worked at EMI Music Publishing for 17 years.
Cinematic Music Group has appointed Tish Taylor as head of digital sales and revenue. In her new post, Taylor will oversee streaming strategy and marketing opportunities for the Cinematic roster.
Taylor has held roles at Sony Music, GMR Marketing and Atlanta-based record label Think It’s a Game, where she was responsible for project management and marketing efforts behind YFN Lucci and Q. Money. She also managed singer, rapper and actor Jacob Latimore.
Beth Greve has been named director and global head of sales at Iron Mountain Entertainment Services, a physical and digital media archiving service for the media and entertainment industries.
In her new post, Greve will play a key role in revenue growth and facilitating new and existing business opportunities across the various industries the company serves, including music, film, broadcast, sports, brand archives and individual artists’ collections and estates. She will also oversee the company’s global sales and account management teams and work closely with the marketing team to maximize relationships in the media and entertainment industries.
Greve most recently served as chief commercial officer at the media and toy company GoldieBlox. She has also held high-level executive posts at the World Surf League, Discovery Networks, AwesomenessTV and YouTube.