(UPDATED) SoundExchange annnounced late today that Executive Director John Simson will be leaving the organization by the end of the year. He will remain until a successor is found according to the statement. As a manager in the 1990’s, Simson had lobbied to pass the Digital Performance Rights in Sound Recording Act of 1995. He was SoundExhange's first full-time employee and launched the new collecting society in 2000.
A desire to return to his "creative roots" was given as the reason for his departure, but SE has been criticized in some sectors of the industry for a lack of transparency and allegedly slower than needed payments to artists. A recent campaign spearheaded by SoundExchange VP Brian Calhoun has aggressively sought out artists, managers and record labels; and worked to improve communications and provide better service.