British music executive Darcus Beese will ascend to the role of Island Records President, parent company Universal Music Group announced today. As previously reported, he’ll succeed David Massey, who is headed to Sony Music. Beese will move from the U.K. to New York City and officially starts on July 1.
Beese has led Island Records in the U.K. for five years, and has spent the bulk of his professional career at the 59-year-old label founded by the legendary Chris Blackwell. Among Beese’s credits are work with Amy Winehouse and Florence Welch. Artists on the Island U.S. roster include Fall Out Boy, The Killers, Demi Lovato, Nick Jonas, Tove Lo, Bon Jovi and Shawn Mendes.
“Few in the music industry have Darcus’s track record of creative and commercial success,” said UMG Chairman and CEO Sir Lucian Grainge in announcing Beese’s promotion. “I’ve had the pleasure over the years of working closely with Darcus, who has impeccable creative instincts and takes a long-term view of artist development. I’m thrilled he is taking on this new role and I’m excited to support him in signing, developing and breaking many more artists.”
Added Beese: “Island Records was founded by Chris Blackwell to serve as the home for boundary-defying and maverick artists with the ability to move popular culture. To this day, that mission continues to define and drive Island, whether in the U.K. or U.S., and I couldn’t be more proud to play a role in carrying on that legacy.”
Beese was inducted as an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 2014 for services to the U.K. music industry.
Fellow Brit Massey officially exits Island on June 1 but appears to be working down to the wire. He was spotted cheering on Island acts Mendes and Lovato at the Billboard Music Awards on Sunday night.