Major Labels

Capitol Music Chief Steve Barnett To Retire, New Leadership Named

UMG’s Capitol Music Group longtime Chairman & CEO Steve Barnett will retire at the end of the year after a 50-year career in the music business.

Barnett revealed his decision and with Universal Music Group Chairman & CEO Sir Lucian Grainge announced the promotion of Jeff Vaughn and Michelle Jubelirer to CMG’s new co-heads.

Vaughn, who currently serves as President of the label, will transition to the role of Chairman and CEO, while current CMG COO Jubelirer will step up as CMG’s President and COO.

Steve Barnett (Lester Cohen)

From Barnett:

“This has been an incredible journey, and I’ve been tremendously fortunate to work with such amazing people along the way. I am indebted to Lucian for his unwavering belief in me and for his unreserved support for our efforts these entire eight years. To say that I will always be grateful to him is truly an understatement.

Michelle was the first to join me at CMG and has been my partner in revitalizing the company and creating an environment where artists and our employees could thrive. From the moment Jeff joined us, I knew he’d quickly make his mark on Capitol, and I’m certain that he and Michelle are the perfect team to guide CMG into the future.

My appreciation extends to Boyd Muir and my many friends at UMG who have been there for me and my team these past eight years. I thank you all.”

Barnett was appointed to his current post in 2012 following UMG’s acquisition of EMI. Since then, he has played a key role in the relaunch of CMG.

Barnett and Grainge facilitated the relocation of the label’s headquarters from New York back to its historic Hollywood home, and completed a multi-year renovation of its iconic Capitol Tower and historic Capitol Studios, in advance of the company’s 75th anniversary celebration in 2017.

During his tenure, Barnett played a key role in the rise of artists such as Lil Baby, Migos, City Girls and Lil Yachty and helped to form successful partnerships with labels such as 10K Projects whose artists include Surfaces, Internet Money, Trippie Redd and iann dior.

Other successful partnerships with artists and labels include Surf Mesa through CMG’s Astralwerks label, SHAED through Photo Finish and independent band Judah & The Lion.

Sir Lucian Grainge:

“When we acquired EMI, Capitol was a gem that had lost its luster. Under Steve’s leadership, Capitol has been rebuilt into one of music’s greatest homes for artist and employee talent. It’s a fitting crown to Steve’s incredible five-decade career. To assure that Capitol’s next chapter is equally successful, we have appointed two gifted executives to lead the company . On behalf of the entire UMG family, I congratulate Jeff and Michelle on their well-deserved promotions and I especially want to thank Steve for making Capitol shine bright once again and wishing him a wonderful retirement with Nancy and the children.”

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