Capitol Music Group Chairman and Chief Executive Steve Barnett announced Nov. 5 that he will retire effective Dec. 31 and revealed the company’s new leadership.

Barnett, a 50-year veteran of the music industry, has spent the last eight years as the head of CMG, which is owned by Universal Music Group.


UMG Chairman and Chief Executive Lucian Grainge and Barnett jointly announced that Capitol Records President Jeff Vaughn will take over as CMG’s chairman and CEO while Capitol Music Group Chief Operating Officer Michelle Jubelirer will become CMG’s president and COO.


“This has been an incredible journey, and I’ve been tremendously fortunate to work with such amazing people along the way,” Barnett said in a statement. “I am indebted to Lucian for his unwavering belief in me and for his unreserved support for our efforts these entire eight years.


“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,” Barnett added.


Grainge tapped Barnett to take the helm of the company in November 2012 after UMG acquired EMI Records and formed Capitol Music Group, which consists of multiple labels, including Capitol Records, Motown Records and Virgin Records. The pair also brought CMG’s headquarters from New York back to its home in Hollywood, completing a renovation of Capitol Tower and Capitol Studios.


“When Capitol joined our family as part of the EMI acquisition, it was in desperate need of vision, passion and drive,” Grainge wrote in an email to employees obtained by Variety.


“Steve brought all of that and more to the Tower, and today, once again, Capitol stands as a symbol of creative and commercial success in music — a magnet both to great artists and great music business professionals.”

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