Jon Platt will lead Warner/Chappell Music going forward. As part of a transition plan, Platt, who joined Warner/Chappell in 2012, will be promoted to the company’s CEO on Nov. 1 from his current position as president, North America. Subsequently, in May 2016 (most likely when Cameron Strang’s contract ends), Cameron Strang, currently chairman & CEO, will step down to devote his full focus to serving as chairman & CEO of Warner Bros. Records.
Platt is known for being a doubled-edged sword, having great creative skills combined with top-notch leadership. On the creative side, he has helped attract such artists and songwriters as Jay Z, Beyoncé, Vance Joy and Echosmith to Warner/Chappell.
“Jon has a deep understanding of the creative process, an outstanding devotion to songs and songwriters, and an innate ability to nurture the next generation of talented publishing executives,” Warner Music Group CEO Steve Cooper said in a statement. “His combination of artistic sensibility and commercial savvy is very rare, and is clearly why so many of the world’s greatest songwriters want him as their partner and champion.” Cooper added that Platt will enhance Warner/Chappell’s “position” as the best home for songwiters.
Over the last five years, Warner/Chappell’s revenues have steadily declined, from $582 million for the year ended Sept. 30, 2009 to $503 million for the year ended Sept. 30, 2013, before rebounding last year to $517 million. In the first nine months of this year, Warner/Chappell revenue stands at $359 million, down from $387 million, or 7.2 percent.
Platt’s ability to attract top flight songwriters should help boost the company’s bottom line. Over the last several years, Warner/Chappell has added such songwriters as Pharrell Williams’ pre-2010 repertoire, Taio Cruz, Aloe Blacc, Sean Douglas, Belly, Mano, Julia Michaels, Steve Kipner, Nico & Vinz, Slash, Dave Mustaine, Mike WiLL Made It, Lady Antebellum, Liz Rose, and Lee Miller, as well as the Roc Nation publishing catalog.
“Ever since Jon came on board in 2012, he has played a pivotal role in our success story, making enormous contributions to the company’s rapid development,” Strang said in a statement.”Warner/Chappell is now ready for the next phase of its ongoing evolution, and Jon is exactly the right executive for the job. He is a force of nature: a brilliant creative collaborator; a principled leader; and an inspiring mentor. He will be a terrific CEO, as he brings his dynamism and expertise to our songwriters, teams and business around the world.”
Cooper added that “with a smooth transition underway at Warner/Chappell, Cameron will lead our plan to build on [Warner Bros. Records] existing success, turbocharge its long-term growth and deepen our commitment to A&R and artist development.”
Prior to joining Warner/Chappell Platt, who received SESAC’s Visionary Award in May, spent 17 years at EMI Music Publishing, where he signed an early-career Jay Z, Kanye West, Usher, Drake, Ludacris, Mary Mary, Young Jeezy, Fabolousand Snoop Dogg, according to Warner/Chappell’s announcement.
“Warner/Chappell is an iconic music company with an incomparable roster of extraordinary songwriters,” Platt said in a statement. “Our mission is to develop, grow, reward and sustain a prosperous and healthy creative community — the community of songwriters who make it possible for music to have such a special place in all of our lives. My vision for Warner/Chappell is one of peerless commitment to the songwriter and unmatched advocacy for the value of music. I see us leading the industry in our service not only to our songwriters, but also to the partners and fans that help make their livelihoods possible.”
article by Ed Christman via billboard.com