Virgin vet tapped for exec VP

Former Virgin Records exec Ashley Newton has been named executive vice president of A&R at RCA Records. Move reps the first significant hire for newly installed RCA Music Group chairman Clive Davis.

Based in New York, Newton will be responsible for overseeing RCA Records’ A&R activities and report directly to Davis.

Newton most recently held the position of co-president, Virgin Records America, and senior VP of A&R at Virgin Music Group Worldwide. From 1992-98, he served as co-managing director of Virgin Records U.K. Founder of the label Circa Records, Newton began his A&R career under Chris Blackwell at Island Records.

While at Virgin he signed the Spice Girls, Massive Attack, Everything but the Girl and the Chemical Brothers. In addition, he has worked with artists such as Janet Jackson, N.E.R.D., Daft Punk, Lenny Kravitz and Peter Gabriel.

“Ashley is truly a first-class music executive who brings to RCA Records a unique understanding of the creative community and what inspires it,” David said. “I am confident that he will bring new and fresh luster to RCA.”

Label parent BMG created RCA Music Group late last year after purchasing the half of Davis’ J Records that it didn’t already own. Last week, the label laid off 50 staffers, including senior VP of A&R David Bendeth, as it developed its organizational structure (Daily Variety, Jan. 9).

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