Paul Pacifico repped artists at the FAC, then indie labels at AIM. Is he now off to rep major labels at the BPI?

Paul Pacifico, the CEO of the UK’s Association of Independent Music (AIM) – which represents indie music labels and entrepreneurs – has confirmed he is leaving the role at the end of 2022.

The timing of the announcement has already fired up the rumor mill about Pacifico’s next move, following recent news of a vacancy for a CEO at the BPI, the trade body representing the three major record companies in the UK.

The BPI’s current CEO, Geoff Taylor, recently announced that he is stepping down from the org. Taylor will stay on until early 2023, while the body recruits for a successor.

MBW sources suggest Pacifico is the likely candidate to become that successor.

That outcome would mean Pacifico’s career had seen him act as a professional lobbyist for three distinct music sectors often on opposing sides of industry issues:

  • Pacifico was once head of the Featured Artists Coalition (FAC), which represents the interests of artists in the UK;
  • He then joined AIM, which represents indie labels and entrepreneurs;
  • And, as mentioned, the BPI primarily represents the interests of the three major record companies.

Last month, as head of AIM, Pacifico applauded the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority’s decision not to launch a full investigation into the balance of economics in the British music streaming market.

“We welcome the CMA’s update report which reinforces what we know – that building success in music is hard – and underlines the need for organizations across music to work together to secure positive outcomes for the sector,” he said.

“Ultimately, AIM’s community of creative entrepreneurs want to be assured they are fighting a fair fight, and we will continue to work across industry and government to help ensure UK music remains world-leading.”

In a statement today (August 15), AIM said that, during his tenure as CEO, Pacifico had “transformed” the org “by reinvigorating and refocusing its role as the home and voice of a much wider spectrum of UK music business builders, reaching a new generation of creative entrepreneurs”.

Pacifico joined AIM in 2016 as a former CEO of the UK’s Featured Artists Coalition and founding president of the International Artist Organisation.

During these roles, he has continued to work as an Associate Professor at Berklee Valencia, as well as a creative director, session musician and featured artist.

With his term at AIM ending officially on October 31, Pacifico will continue as CEO until the end of the year. AIM says that recruitment is currently underway for his successor.

“I came to AIM six years ago faced with the challenge to refresh it as one of the most energized and relevant voices in music to represent both the established but also the up-and-coming creative entrepreneurs in our sector.”

Paul Pacifico, AIM

Of his exit from AIM, Pacifico said: “I came to AIM six years ago faced with the challenge to refresh it as one of the most energized and relevant voices in music to represent both the established but also the up-and-coming creative entrepreneurs in our sector.

“I feel I have done much of the work I came to AIM to do and I’m proud to leave AIM in a position of huge strength for the future of the community, the members and the team.”

Added Pacifico: “I am hugely grateful for the support from the community, my board and my incredible team over the last six years, which has enabled me to deliver on so much of the promise AIM represents and to shine a light on the vibrant and innovative UK independent music community.

“I look forward to the road ahead and the opportunities that no doubt await.”

“AIM’s board, team and membership are the most diverse they have ever been, we have leveled out access to resources and opportunities for creative entrepreneurs, and Paul’s impact and legacy are towering embodiments of this.”

Nadia Khan, AIM

Nadia Khan, Chair of the AIM Board, added: “It’s been a very rewarding experience to work closely with Paul and see first-hand his commitment to values-driven leadership, investment in promoting open communication and building a culture of equitable and transparent leadership .

“AIM’s board, team and membership are the most diverse they have ever been, we have leveled out access to resources and opportunities for creative entrepreneurs, and Paul’s impact and legacy are towering embodiments of this.

“I am truly sad to see him leave, and I wish him the best in his future endeavours.”

“As he now moves on, we can reflect on how fortunate we have been to have had the benefit of his talents, and what exciting potential the future holds for us.”

Martin Mills, Beggars Group

Martin Mills, Founder & Chairman at Beggars Group, said: “It’s no overstatement to say that AIM has transformed the record industry, and not just in the UK. That it has done so is down not just to the strength and vision of the community, but to our leader for the last six years, Paul.

“As he now moves on, we can reflect on how fortunate we have been to have had the benefit of his talents, and what exciting potential the future holds for us.”

“As a manager of independent artists, and an independent music business owner myself, I’ve seen first-hand the tremendous impact Paul has created in his time at AIM.”

Andy Musgrave, Supernature

Andy Musgrave, Founder & CEO at Supernature, said: “As a manager of independent artists, and an independent music business owner myself, I’ve seen first-hand the tremendous impact Paul has created in his time at AIM.

“The independent space is stronger than ever, and that’s testament to Paul’s tireless work, not only fighting for the rights and fair treatment of creators within the industry, but providing open access to valuable support and educational resources for those climbing the ladder.

“Paul’s innovative mindset and fierce determination has been inspiring for myself as a leader, and I look forward to seeing what he does next.”

Kevin Brennan, Labor MP for Cardiff West and Chair of APPG On Music, commented: “​As CEO of AIM Paul had been an energetic advocate for independent music. He has assiduously made the case for the indies to parliamentarians and policymakers.

“Although we haven’t always seen eye to eye on the detail of reforms that the sector has to make in order to support the talent pipeline, Paul has always made his case thoughtfully and courteously.”Music Business Worldwide

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