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April 3, 2017 | RIAA News

Mitch Glazier Promoted To RIAA President, Tapped To Become CEO In 2019

Cary Sherman To Leave At End Of 2018 After Storied 40+ Year Career

WASHINGTON – The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) today announced that Mitch Glazier has been promoted to President of the organization and will ascend to the role of Chairman and CEO in January 2019. Cary Sherman, the RIAA’s Chairman and CEO will retire from the organization at the end of 2018 after a storied 40-plus year career as one of the music industry’s most respected and knowledgeable business and policy experts.

Glazier, currently Senior Executive Vice President, will become Chairman and CEO on January 1, 2019, after 18-plus years with the organization. During that time Glazier managed the organization’s public policy and industry relations teams, helping advance a variety of initiatives that helped the American music business transition to a fully digital industry with a stronger set of basic property rights protections. Before joining the RIAA, Glazier served as Chief Counsel for intellectual property to the Judiciary

Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives. He also serves as Chairman of the Board of the charity Musicians on Call, which brings the healing power of music to the bedsides of patients in hospitals and healthcare facilities across the nation.

“Mitch brings that rare combination of policy chops, political sophistication and a forward-looking view of the business that we need to succeed,” said Jeffrey Harleston, General Counsel and Executive Vice President of Business & Legal Affairs for Universal Music Group. “A proven advocate who works well with

those across the music community and our partners, Mitch is more than ready to take the next step in leadership. Needless to say, he has large shoes to fill. For more than 40 years, Cary has served as a selfless leader helping to steer the organization through a daunting series of legal and policy issues. We owe him enormously, thank him and wish him all the best; we are pleased that he will serve through this seamless transition.”

“A seasoned policy expert, Mitch is adept at translating complex recorded music industry issues into layman’s terms,” said Paul Robinson, EVP and General Counsel, Warner Music Group. “We are pleased and honored that Mitch has agreed to become Cary’s successor, as it is a rare person who could take on

this unique role and build on the RIAA’s achievements. Cary’s peerless work has helped strengthen the rights of creators through groundbreaking legal victories, enactment of pro-creator legislation and important industry partnerships.”

“Mitch is a talented advocate for the music business, and we are fortunate he has agreed to become CEO of the RIAA,” said Julie Swidler, EVP, Business Affairs and General Counsel, Sony Music Entertainment.  “He’s a savvy and strategic thinker who will help lead our community as we navigate an always challenging political landscape. We owe a debt of gratitude to Cary for his thoughtful and effective leadership, and we are fortunate to have both Cary and Mitch for another 21 months until Mitch takes over in 2019.”

“We have known Mitch from the time he served as counsel to the Judiciary Committee and have watched him become an effective leader and knowledgeable advocate for the music industry’s positions on important copyright issues,” said The Honorable Bob Goodlatte, Chairman, and The Honorable John Conyers, Jr., Ranking Member, Committee on the Judiciary, U.S. House of Representatives. “We congratulate him on his promotion and look forward to his continuing contributions in the important debates that will help shape the 21st century music marketplace.”

“Additionally, we would like to recognize Cary for his 40-plus years of contributions to our nation’s creative landscape. He has been involved in every major change to modern copyright law and we have all benefitted greatly from his counsel. We look forward to his continued time at RIAA and wish him all the best as he approaches retirement.”

Bart Herbison, Executive Director, Nashville Songwriters Association International, also welcomed the news and recognized Sherman’s leadership. “There has never been a more challenging time for the music industry while there has also never been such potential. We need knowledge, leadership and vision to navigate new paths for royalties and commerce in the digital era and Mitch Glazier combines those qualities. NSAI applauds RIAA’s decision to put Mitch at the helm. We also want to note the value of Cary Sherman’s contributions for many years. His wisdom and guidance have been invaluable to our industry while music has gone through the transition into the digital era. I have tremendous personal respect for both men.”

Since 1974 – first as outside counsel to RIAA at Arnold & Porter, and then as General Counsel, President and ultimately Chairman and CEO of RIAA – Sherman has been deeply immersed in every legislative, regulatory and policy issue affecting the recorded music industry, from the comprehensive revision of U.S. copyright law in 1976 to the current debate about the effectiveness of laws which provide “safe harbors” for copyright infringement.

Of the dozens of issues confronting the music industry during those years and his numerous achievements, a couple Sherman accomplishments stand out:

  • He was instrumental in the enactment of the Digital Performance Right in Sound Recordings Act in 1995, which along with his work on the Digital Millennium Copyright Act in 1998, established a new right for artists and labels to be compensated by digital music services. That right has since become the core legal foundation obligating streaming services to pay royalties for their subscription services – services that have become the primary catalyst for growth in the business.
  • He helped the music community collaborate on multiple issues, from antipiracy and technology initiatives to landmark litigations such as MGM Studios, Inc. v. Grokster in 2005. At a time when piracy was rampant and the authorized music marketplace was in its infancy, that case reshaped the legal landscape for actions against pirate sites and helped level the playing field for licensed music services.

Sherman’s collaborative and inclusive style was praised by his colleagues.

“This is an appropriate moment to recognize Cary. For the many years that I’ve known him, Cary has always listened, respected the views of the entire music community, and worked to develop a unified approach to complex issues,” said Neil Portnow, President/CEO of The Recording Academy. “Cary is an industry thought leader with a deep knowledge of our business, and has played a key role in many of the industry’s strides and accomplishments over the past three decades. We are fortunate to have his highly respected and thoughtful leadership through the end of 2018, and offer our sincere congratulations and best wishes to Mitch on his promotion.”