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Michelle Jubelirer Exits Capitol Music Group Following UMG Restructure

Michelle Jubelirer Exits Capitol Music Group Following UMG Restructure

Capitol Music Group chair and CEO Michelle Jubelirer is exiting the company, she announced in a memo to staff this morning (Feb. 6) that was obtained by Billboard. The move comes less than a week after Universal Music Group chairman/CEO announced a restructure of the label groups at the company that would shift Capitol, among other labels, under the oversight of Interscope Geffen A&M chairman/CEO John Janick.

Jubelirer, who has held her current title since December 2021, will depart the label after today.

Related

Universal Music Group Announces Label Restructure, With Monte Lipman and John Janick as Leaders

02/06/2024

“I am deeply saddened that I will no longer be at the company we rebuilt and took to new heights over the past two years,” she writes. “As I’ve said before, I don’t think any label group has been able to turn things around as quickly as we have managed to, and I’m certain that we’ve set Capitol Music Group on course toward a great future.”

Jubelirer joined Capitol in early 2013 as executive vp under then-CMG CEO Steve Barnett, and quickly became his second in command at the music group, which also encompassed Motown, Blue Note, Astralwerks and, until recently, indie distributor Virgin Music. In 2015 she was promoted to COO, a role she held throughout Barnett’s reign atop the label, which ended at the end of 2020. She remained on as COO under Barnett’s successor, Jeff Vaughn, who spent a short time in the top role, before Jubelirer succeeded Vaughn at the end of 2021.

A longtime attorney who also spent time at Sony Music prior to joining Capitol, Jubelirer was part of the revitalization of the storied label following UMG’s acquisition of EMI in 2012, and has been a regular on Billboard’s Women in Music and Power 100 features in the years since. Upon her appointment in 2021 to the top job, Jubelirer became the first female executive to head Capitol in its 80-plus-year history.

In 2023, Capitol racked up a 6.66% market share in the U.S., including a 5.90% current market share — which measures releases from the past 18 months — which was fifth among all labels for the full year. Both numbers were up significantly over her first year at the helm in 2022, when Capitol’s overall market share stood at 6.40% and current market share was 4.97%.

Last week, Grainge announced a restructuring of UMG’s labels, returning the company to an operational structure more similar to the one that existed from 1999 through 2014, prior to the full integration of Capitol. Under this new configuration, which is loosely an East Coast-West Coast alignment, Janick is overseeing Interscope, Geffen, Capitol, Motown, Priority, Verve and Blue Note, while Republic Records CEO Monte Lipman will oversee Republic, Def Jam, Island and Mercury.

See her letter to staff below in full:

To my Capitol Music Group Team,

I wanted you to hear this news directly from me:  I’ve made the extremely difficult decision to leave the company that has been my home for more than a decade, and so, today will be my last as Chair & CEO of Capitol Music Group. 

I am deeply saddened that I will no longer be at the company we rebuilt and took to new heights over the past two years.  As I’ve said before, I don’t think any label group has been able to turn things around as quickly as we have managed to, and I’m certain that we’ve set Capitol Music Group on course toward a great future.

Together, we became a real team; a diverse group of individuals bonded by our love of music and passion for artistry, and whose differences in backgrounds and cultural tastes made each of us stronger advocates and champions for our artists.  In such a competitive and fast-paced world, we gave it our all—every minute of every day—so that our artists could seize the opportunity to realize their dreams and ultimately succeed.

I am so fortunate to work in a business that I love and be constantly surrounded by music and the talented people that create it. Every day, I renewed my promise to do my very best for our artists, and they have given me so much in return.  No matter where I find myself in this business, I will always approach my relationships with artists as their advocate, their protector, and their fan. 

I will let you know of my future plans as soon as I can.  

In closing, let me simply say to each of you: Thank You.  It has been my honor to be on this journey with you.

With love and appreciation,

Michelle

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