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Universal Music Publishing Group Ups David Kokakis to Chief Counsel

A nine-year veteran of the company, he led multi-territory negotiations for publishing licenses with Facebook and YouTube.

David Kokakis UMPG
Christina Gandolfo

David Kokakis, a nine-year veteran of Universal Music Publishing Group (UMPG) who most recently served as Executive Vice President and Head of UMPG’s Business & Legal Affairs, Business Development and Digital, has been upped to Chief Counsel. He’ll assume the newly created role at the company’s Santa Monica headquarters and report to UMPG COO Marc Cimino.

In his elevated position, Kokakis will also work with labels across Universal Music Group (UMG) to maximize synergy opportunities. For this aspect of his job, Kokakis will additionally report to UMG General Counsel and Executive Vice President of Business & Legal Affairs Jeff Harleston, who noted, “David’s deep expertise across the legal, international and digital business will be a tremendous asset as we develop collaborative strategies between publishing and recorded music. By coordinating these efforts, we hope to unlock new commercial opportunities for recording artists, songwriters and catalogs.”

Among Kokakis’ credits at UMPG: he led multi-territory negotiations for publishing licenses with Facebook and YouTube, and helped steer exclusive global publishing agreements with some of UMPG’s top performing songwriters.

Said Kokakis: “There is significant growth potential as global consumption of music-centric content continues its steady transition to digital platforms, and opportunities can be maximized through greater collaboration between UMG and UMPG. I am grateful to Marc, Jeff and UMPG’s Chairman and CEO Jody Gerson for entrusting me to develop joint initiatives that will add value for our songwriters and artists.”