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Timothy Xu to Lead Universal Music Greater China as CEO and Chairman

Universal Music Greater China (UMGC) has appointed Timothy Xu as its new chairman and CEO of the Greater China division. He will be responsible for the music company’s operations across mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan, effective immediately.

Xu joins UMGC from Taihe Music Group, one of China’s most reputable indie companies, where he served as president and CEO since 2018. Prior to that, Xu served as chairman and CEO of Greater China at Sony Music Entertainment between 2012 and 2016. He’s also worked for EMI Music/EMI Music Publishing China and Warner Music China.

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News of Xu’s hiring follows the retirement of longstanding chairman, Sunny Chang.

“I am thrilled to welcome Timothy to lead our operations in Greater China,” said Sir Lucian Grainge, chairman and CEO of Universal Music Group. “He’s a real music exec, given his deep experience generating creative and commercial success in the region. I’m confident Timothy be instrumental as we continue to drive growth in the exciting and vibrant Chinese music market.”

Executive VP of Market Development Adam Granite, adds: “Having worked together in the past, Timothy’s unique and versatile experience across the sector will bring new opportunities to expand all areas of our business operations within Greater China, whilst also accelerating our focus on introducing Chinese music, culture, and artist talent to new markets and audiences around the world.”

In 2021, UMGC emerged as the first major music company to launch multiple frontline label operations across China with Republic Records China, Capitol Records China, EMI China, PolyGram Records China, and Universal Music China as its flagship label divisions, “reinforcing UMGC’s commitment to discovering and introducing the next wave of Chinese music talent globally across a variety of genres,” according to a press release.

Pictured above (L-R): Sir Lucian Grainge, Timothy Xu, Adam Granite

+ Virgin Music Group has opened an office in Lagos, Nigeria and Olukorede “Kay” Ikazoboh has been tapped as head of operations in the region.

Among the first deals announced in the region by Virgin include partnerships with Dvpper, one of Nigeria’s rising Afrobeats labels, solo artist Reekado Banks, as well as a single with Darkoo featuring Ayra Starr.

Nat Pastor, co-CEO of Virgin Music commented: “The global appetite for the incredible musical creativity springing from Africa has never been stronger. Establishing a presence in Nigeria is another important step in our commitment to serving independent African artists and entrepreneurs throughout the region.”

Kay has managerial experience via her own Kimani Moore Entertainment, which has helped to guide the careers of such artists as Odunsi the Engine, Mowalola, and Taylwar. She also served in a variety of positions in emerging markets for Warner Music Group.

“Nigeria has become a hugely important creative hub, producing some of the most exciting music anywhere in the world,” said Kay. “I’m looking forward to working with independent labels and artists to help them build their fan bases both here and around the world. I am truly honored to lead this mission with my team and look forward to the incredible journey ahead.”

+ K-pop group RIIZE — comprised of members Shotaro, Eunseok, Sungchan, Wonbin, Seunghan, Sohee and Anton — have signed a new partnership deal with their Korean label SM Entertainment and RCA Records.

The news was unveiled alongside their debut single, “Get a Guitar” (which is also being sold as a physical single). The accompanying visualizer for the single has already amassed over seven million views on YouTube.

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