British Music Rights Appoints Feargal Sharkey And Andy Heath as Chief Executive and Chairman
British Music Rights is delighted to announce the appointment of Feargal Sharkey and Andy Heath, respectively, as its new CEO and Chairman.
Sharkey takes the place of former CEO Emma Pike, who left in August 2007, while Heath replaces Leslie Hill who retired at the end of last year. Both roles come into effect on February 1st.
Representing decades of experience and a unique multi-faceted insight into the music industry and government relations, both appointments signify a major boost for BMR and Britain's 50,000-strong community of songwriters, composers and publishers.
Enjoying global success as lead singer of The Undertones and as a chart-topping solo artist, Feargal Sharkey has since embarked on a wide-ranging career, encompassing A&R man at Polydor, managing director of EXP Ltd and Member of the Radio Authority. Since 2004 he has chaired the UK government's Live Music Forum and, most recently, has been tasked by the Secretary of State for the Department for Culture, Media and Sport and the Secretary of State for the Department for Children, Schools and Families to take forward government's commitment to establish a national network of professionally equipped community rehearsal spaces for young people.
Andy Heath's CV is equally diverse - he established himself as an independent music publisher in 1971, before running Momentum Music (1987) and founding 4AD Music Ltd (2001). He was president of the Music Publishers Association between 1993 and 1997 and currently serves as director of both Beggars Group – home of Radiohead and the White Stripes - and groundbreaking next-generation broadband ISP music service Playlouder MSP, and is a board member of the Mechanical-Copyright Protection Society and the Performing Right Society.
Commenting on his appointment, Feargal Sharkey said: "This is a fantastically exciting role. BMR has a very well deserved reputation as a progressive industry voice, whether taking the lead on policy matters, its long-term vision for collective licensing and the digital business or its range of social and educational programmes.
"My intention is to build on these and move this industry forward – with particular regards to new media and technology. Over the past decade, creators have provided the fuel for countless new digital services and it is essential that the contributions of songwriters, composers and publishers are fully recognised. We look forward to a year of innovation, and working with technology partners and government to find common solutions that are mutually beneficial to all consumers and creators."
"Contrary to popular reports, the music industry is by no means dead," adds Andy Heath. "In fact, many sectors of the business are in rude health. The public's appetite for music has never been so voracious. But there are challenges. The necessity for our industry to speak in one coherent voice has become increasingly apparent, as is the need to reiterate the value of intellectual property in the 21st century and embrace the demands of 21st century consumers. Feargal and the team will ensure that British Music Rights brings a fresh dynamic and clarity to the voice of the British music community, and by that, I mean the creator, the consumer, and those of us in the industry who bring the two together."
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