In a succession first announced nearly two years ago, Mitch Glazier has formally taken office as Chairman and CEO of the Recording Industry Association of America, with Michele Ballantyne promoted to Chief Operating Officer, effective immediately. Longstanding CEO Cary Sherman, who had been with the organization for more than two decades, retired from that post at the end of last year.
In the announcement, Glazier said, “Music matters. It shapes our culture. It inspires generations young and young at heart. It makes us who we are and binds diverse communities together. I am honored to lead the RIAA during these exciting times as we fight for a music ecosystem that works for everybody – from artists and fans to labels and publishers and songwriters and music services alike. That will require that we both embrace digital music innovations, and protect what has always made music great – keeping the dream alive for the next generation of artists and music creators.”
Glazier joined the RIAA in 2000, after a tenure as chief counsel for intellectual property to the House Judiciary Committee, where he helped pass legislation that paved the way for the streaming economy, including helping author the Digital Performance Right in Sound Recordings Act to assure that music creators are compensated for use of their music by digital partners. More recently, he helped build the coalition that mobilized to enact the Music Modernization Act (MMA).
Ballantyne also joined the RIAA from government, working as Special Assistant to President Bill Clinton, Special Counsel to then-White House Chief of Staff John Podesta, and as General Counsel for Senator Tom Daschle. She also played a key role in advocating for congressional reforms including the MMA, the PRO-IP Act that established the nation’s first Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator in the Executive Office of the President, and the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008, which provided colleges and universities with tools to reduce the illegal downloading of copyrighted works on campuses.
Glazier said, “Michele has been a champion for music – a steady hand known for her knowledge of government, her sound judgment, unmatched policy chops, and unflappable determination to develop winning public policy campaigns. Simply put, there is no one better suited to help lead the RIAA and no one I would rather have at my side than Michele.”
“I’m excited to be part of this new leadership team at such an incredibly dynamic and important time,” said Ballantyne. “By staying true to music and its creators even as we embrace change, we can help the men and women of the music industry achieve great things. I look forward to advocating on behalf of our great community.”