×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Charles Caldas To Step Down as Merlin CEO

Charles Caldas, the only CEO that the independent-label collective Merlin has ever known, announced today that he will step down from his post at the end of 2019, after more than 12 years at the helm of the global rights organization.

He will continue his current duties until then and work with the Merlin board to ensure a smooth transition. During his tenure, Caldas has overseen the expansion of Merlin into a global organization, with an experienced management team based in offices in Amsterdam, London, New York and Tokyo. Merlin now represents over 850 members from 63 countries around the globe, who collectively command over 12% of the world’s digital music market. Merlin announced this week that it had distributed over $2 billion to members since launch.

Under his leadership, Merlin has struck deals with the world’s leading digital music platforms, including Spotify, YouTube, Deezer, Soundcloud, Pandora and Facebook as well as a series of strategic non-exclusive licensing partnerships in China with NetEase Cloud Music, Ali Music Group and Tencent Music Entertainment.

Merlin has also returned significant revenues to the independent sector via several successful copyright infringement actions, the Warner Music/Parlophone divestment agreement, and not least, the sale of Merlin’s shares in Spotify for an estimated $125 million, all of which was distributed back to its members.

In a statement, Caldas said, “Having the chance to contribute to taking Merlin from a raw idea hatched by a few indie visionaries to the fast-growing global enterprise it is today has truly been a privilege. What we have all achieved over the past 12 years is remarkable, and the revenues we are now generating were unthinkable back in 2007. This has easily been the most rewarding work of my life, and for that opportunity I thank our members, our board, and particularly my incredible team for their support.”

Merlin Chairman Dave Hansen said, “Over the past 12 years, Charles in his role as the CEO of Merlin changed everything for independents. His vision, leadership and hard work helped Merlin forge a path towards true independence for all of our members. Charles has built a great foundation with an amazing team and Merlin will continue to be strong in the future. We wish him great success and happiness as he moves onto his next chapter at the end of this year.”

Martin Mills, founder of Beggars Group and Merlin Chairman from 2010-2017, said: “Merlin and the whole independent community owe Charles a huge debt of thanks for what he has achieved for and with us, without which we’d have a slippery slope instead of a level playing field. We wish him all the very best in his next venture, which we trust will be musical, and within our universe. Merlin will continue to go from strength to strength, thanks largely to the structure and team that Charles has put in place. “

After running the indie label Shock Records in his native Australia, Caldas migrated to the U.K. in 2007 to become Merlin’s CEO and launched it in May 2008. He received IMPALA’s annual outstanding contribution award in 2013. He was included in Variety’s International Music Leaders lists in 2018 and 2019, and Billboard’s International Power List in 2014 and 2017, as well as the Billboard Power 100 in 2018 and 2019.

 

More Digital

  • Jamie Gutfreund, Greg Coleman - Tubular

    Tubular Labs Adds Jamie Gutfreund, Greg Coleman to Board

    Video-measurement firm Tubular Labs announced two additions to its board of directors: Jamie Gutfreund, ex-chief strategy officer of CAA and formerly Hasbro’s chief consumer experience officer, and Greg Coleman, former president of BuzzFeed. Gutfreund and Coleman are not personally investing in Tubular Labs but will receive stock options in the privately held company. They join [...]

  • Verizon Media

    Verizon Media Is Laying Off 150 Employees, Less Than 2% of Headcount

    Verizon Media, the division comprising brands like HuffPost, AOL, Yahoo, TechCrunch and Engadget, is set to lay off about 150 employees, the latest retrenchment by the telco’s still-declining digital-media group. Verizon confirmed the cuts, which were first reported by CNN. The job cuts represent around 1.4% of the 10,500 employees in Verizon Media, which the [...]

  • The Mandalorian Baby Yoda

    Disney Plus, 'Baby Yoda' Top Google's 2019 Trending U.S. Searches

    Disney Plus — with an assist from Baby Yoda — was the No. 1 top-trending Google search in the United States for 2019, according to the internet giant. The Mouse House’s incursion into the streaming battles debuted in November in the U.S. and a few other countries but Disney benefited from months-long heavy hype and [...]

  • IRM_DAY032_110117_0719538.raf

    'The Irishman' Was Watched by 26 Million Households in First Week, Netflix Says

    Netflix has dribbled out some viewing data on Martin Scorsese’s “The Irishman”: The epically long mobster film was watched by 26.4 million Netflix households worldwide in the first seven days — to at least 70% completion, according to content chief Ted Sarandos. In the first 28 days, Netflix expects about 40 million account holders to [...]

  • United States Attorney for the Southern

    'Jeffrey Epstein Didn’t Kill Himself' Is Peak Meme After Art Basel Prank 

    From Bye, Felicia to The Dress, memes have provided the ideal discursive forum for our ever dwindling attention spans. On this side of the century, most memes have been byte-sized digital novelties that fizzle away without manifesting in the meatspace. But as the gap between URL and IRL draws closer, memes are spilling into real [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content