Merlin, the global digital rights agency for the independent-label sector, today announced results of its biennial board elections. They include a new chairman, as Dave Hansen, Epitaph’s SVP of Business Development (pictured, above left), replaces Beggars Group founder Martin Mills, who is stepping down by rotation.

Mills served as Chairman since 2011, Merlin’s second following the tenure of Bob Frank, and will continue as a board member of the organization.

This year saw the highest ever number of candidates standing for election, as well the highest ever percentage of members voting, with the result that five new members will step up to the 15-member board that oversees Merlin’s strategy until 2019. Bob Roback (Isolation Network, USA), Nando Luaces (Altafonte Network, Spain), Bruno Guez (Revelator, Israel), Chris Maund (Mushroom Group, Australia) and Masahiro “Jack” Oishi (Maverick D.C., Japan) join fellow representatives from independent labels across the globe.

Aligned with Merlin’s globally-facing remit and to ensure the widest possible representation of interests, voting seats for the board are divided into three territorial blocs – with equal representation given to North America, Europe and the rest of the world.

The successful candidates for the period 2017-2019 are:

North America:
Bob Roback, Isolation Network (US)
Darius Van Arman, Secretly Group (US)
Dave Hansen, Epitaph Records (US) & Merlin Chairman
Justin West Secret City Records (Canada)
Tom Silverman Tommy Boy (US)

Emmanuel De Buretel, Because Music (France)
Horst Weidenmueller, !K7 Records (Germany)
Martin Mills Beggars Group (UK)
Michel Lambot, PIAS Group (Belgium)
Nando Luaces, Altafonte Network (Spain)

R.O.W. :
Bruno Guez, Revelator Ltd (Israel)
Chris Maund, Mushroom Group (Australia)
Luciana Pegorer, Delira Musica (Brazil)
Masahiro “Jack” Oishi, Maverick D.C. (Japan)
Yoel Kenan, Africori (South Africa)

The newly elected board will also have the option of appointing up to six non-voting observers.

Commenting on the election results, Charles Caldas, CEO of Merlin (pictured, above right), said, “In what is a global business, the unique structure of Merlin’s board remains an invaluable asset – allowing us to draw on extensive commercial experience across all continents, and empowering Merlin’s independent label members to succeed on a worldwide stage.”

Hansen said, “It is an immense honor to be elected to serve as the new chairman of Merlin. I will continue to work closely with Martin Mills, Charles Caldas and the entire Merlin board and staff to deliver big results for our members around the world.” Mills added, “Merlin has played a crucial role for independents in the digital marketplace, and it has been a real honor and pleasure to chair it. I’m very happy, at this point, to pass the chairmanship to Dave, who I know will be a great successor, and look forward to continuing to play a central role in the organization.”