Indie Music

Merlin CEO Charles Caldas To Step Down

image from www.merlinnetwork.orgOne of independent music's most vocal advocates, Charles Caldas will step down as CEO of Merlin at the end of 2019 after more than 12 years leading the global digital rights agency.

Continuing his current duties until then, Charles will work with the Merlin board to ensure a smooth transition for the organisation. 

Merlin is the digital rights agency for the world’s independent label sector with its members representing 12% of the digital recorded music market and more than 20,000 independent record labels and distributors from 63 countries.

Speaking at A2IM's Indie Week convention Tuesday, Caldas announced that Merlin had distributed over $2 billion to members since launch.

Merlin-logo-one-with-strapline-copy“Having the chance to contribute to taking Merlin from a raw idea hatched by a few indie visionaries to the fast-growing global enterprise it is today has truly been a privilege," said Caldas. "What we have all achieved over the past 12 years is remarkable, and the revenues we are now generating were unthinkable back in 2007. This has easily been the most rewarding work of my life, and for that opportunity I thank our members, our board, and especially my incredible team for their support. I am extremely proud to have represented them and am confident that Merlin’s dynamic, market-leading membership of true independents face a very bright future.”   

Caldas relocated to the UK from Australia in 2007 to become Merlin's founding CEO. During his tenure, he has overseen the expansion of Merlin into the globally recognised entity with offices in Amsterdam, London, New York and Tokyo.h.

Under Charles’ leadership, Merlin struckfor the independent sector deals with the world’s leading digital music platforms, including Spotify, YouTube, Deezer, SoundCloud, Pandora and Facebook as well as a series of strategic non-exclusive licensing partnerships in China with NetEase Cloud Music, Ali Music Group and Tencent Music Entertainment. Merlin has in addition returned significant revenues to the independent sector via several successful copyright infringement actions, the Warner Music/Parlophone divestment agreement and the sale of Merlin’s shares in Spotify. 

Charles received IMPALA’s annual outstanding contribution award in 2013. He was included in the Billboard Magazine International Power List in 2014 and 2017, as well as the Billboard Power 100 in 2018 and 2019. He was also featured in the Variety Magazine International Music Leaders lists in 2018 and 2019. 

Dave Hansen, Merlin Chairman said of Caldas:

“Over the past 12 years, Charles in his role as the CEO of Merlin changed everything for independents. His vision, leadership and hard work helped Merlin forge a path towards true independence for all of our members. Charles has built a great foundation with an amazing team and Merlin will continue to be strong in the future. We wish Charles great success and happiness as he moves onto his next chapter at the end of this year.”

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