Geoff Taylor to step down as CEO of UK record label trade body BPI

Geoff Taylor is stepping down from his role as Chief Executive Officer of the BPI, the trade body representing major and independent labels in the UK.

In a press release announcing the news, the BPI says that Taylor intends to move “to a more directly commercial role”, after 25 years working for label associations, including more than 15 years leading the BPI.

London-based Taylor says he has agreed to stay on until early 2023 while the organization recruits for a successor.

He was appointed CEO of the BPI in February 2007 and also serves as the CEO of the annual BRIT Awards show (The BPI oversees both the BRIT Awards and the Mercury Prize).

Prior to joining the BPI, between 2005 and 2007, Taylor was General Counsel and Executive Vice-President at IFPI, the organization that represents the recorded music industry worldwide.

Between 2003 and 2005, Taylor worked as General Counsel at the BPI during an earlier stint at the organization. Prior to that, between 1997 and 2003, Taylor worked as a senior legal advisor at IFPI.

Between 1995 and 1997, Taylor practiced law as an Associate at law firm WilmerHale in Belgium.

Taylor’s legal career started at the University of Sussex, where he studied between 1987 and 1991 and graduated with a BA Hons in Law with French/European Studies. He also has a Postgraduate Diploma in European Law, which he studied for between 1992 and 1993 at the College of Europe in Bruges.

According to the BPI, as a former General Counsel at global trade body IFPI, Taylor “helped secure industry and UK government support for the extension of copyright term and led the BPI’s strategy to reduce online music piracy”.

This included, according to the BPI, “blocking access to illegal P2P and stream-ripping sites, negotiating changes to global policies with Google, Facebook and online advertising networks to demote illegal sites”.

Taylor also oversaw the BRIT Awards’ move to the O2 in London, according to the BPI, as well as the event’s “long-term strategy to extend digital engagement, global reach and revenues”.

He is also credited with steering the acquisition by the BPI in 2015 of the Mercury Prize, and, according to the BPI, championing the creation, by the British government, of the Music Exports Growth Scheme (MEGS), run by the BPI, which has awarded more than £4 million in grants to UK independent labels and artists.

Taylor is also credited, by the BPI, with playing a key role since 2007 in “overseeing the industry’s relationship with government” in the UK, including recently, with the DCMS on the economics of music streaming and the related Competition & Markets Authority market study .

“It has been a great privilege to lead the BPI during such a transformational period for British music.”

Geoff Taylor, BPI

Geoff Taylor, CEO of BPI, said:It has been a great privilege to lead the BPI during such a transformational period for British music.

“With a new Chair appointed and our 50th anniversary next year, it feels like BPI is opening a new chapter. After much reflection, I have decided that running the BPI for 15 years is enough for any moderately sane individual and that now is the time to use my experience more directly in a commercial environment. I have agreed to stay on until early 2023 to help our new Chair YolanDa Brown find an appropriate successor.

“I want to thank the brilliant team at the BPI, former Chair Ged Doherty, and our independent and major members for their wisdom, good humor and steadfast support. I wish YolanDa and all the members continuing success.”

“Geoff’s insightful and forward-thinking leadership benefited the industry as it navigated huge challenges over the last 15 years.”

Tony Harlow, Warner Music UK

Tony Harlow, CEO of Warner Music UKadded: “Geoff’s insightful and forward-thinking leadership benefited the industry as it navigated huge challenges over the last 15 years.

“His argument that copyright must be respected online helped secure a sustainable and growing music industry in our country, one that has created global success for artists such as Ed Sheeran, Coldplay and Dua Lipa.

Continued Harlow: “He was the driving force behind the BPI’s successful strategies to reduce music piracy and policies to support British music such as the Music Export Growth Scheme.

“Geoff expertly steered The BRIT Awards, keeping the show modern and relevant, while raising vital funds for The BRIT School and Nordoff Robbins. Warner Music is very grateful to Geoff for his unwavering commitment to ensuring music remains one of this country’s greatest success stories.”

“It takes real tenacity to lead an organization for so long through rapid digital disruption – we wish Geoff the very best and thank him for his tireless advocacy for British music.”

Jason Iley, Sony Music UK

Jason Iley MBE, Chairman and CEO of Sony Music UKsaid: “The music industry has gone through enormous change in the past 15 years and in that time Geoff has led the BPI with a tight grip on the big issues.

“The whole industry has benefitted from the BPI’s work combatting piracy, campaigning for export funding, running the BRIT and Mercury prizes to showcase artists and supporting music education.

“It takes real tenacity to lead an organization for so long through rapid digital disruption – we wish Geoff the very best and thank him for his tireless advocacy for British music.”

“Geoff has been a powerful advocate for our sector and has always made sure the interests of independents are promoted at the BPI.”

Jamie Oborne, Dirty Hit

Jamie Oborne, founder and MD at Dirty Hitsaid: “Geoff has been a powerful advocate for our sector and has always made sure the interests of independents are promoted at the BPI.

“We’ve seen the benefits at Dirty Hit, with our artists winning MEGS export funding and gaining significant profile through the Mercury Prize and The BRITs.

“The BPI’s free training and international support for indies have also expanded massively. We’re very sad to see him leave but know he’ll continue to make a big contribution to the business.”

“He has made a significant contribution to our industry, for which we are hugely grateful, and we wish him all the very best for when he sets off in his new direction next year.”

David Joseph CBE, Universal Music UK

David Joseph CBE, Chairman and CEO of Universal Music UKsaid: “Geoff’s calm leadership, insight and dedicated work in support of labels right across the country as well as the BRIT Trust have been constants in a period of enormous change for the music business.

“He has made a significant contribution to our industry, for which we are hugely grateful, and we wish him all the very best for when he sets off in his new direction next year.”

“Geoff will forever be part of the BPI family. He will leave a tremendous legacy with many exceptional achievements and a strong team in place.”

YolanDa Brown, BPI

YolanDa Brown, new Chair of BPI, said: “Geoff will forever be part of the BPI family. He will leave a tremendous legacy with many exceptional achievements and a strong team in place.

“I am grateful that he is staying with us to ensure a smooth transition and wish him all the best on his onward journey. I know we will enjoy our time working to ensure the future success of the BPI.”Music Business Worldwide

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