×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Verve President Danny Bennett Steps Down as UMG Restructures Jazz and Classical Divisions

Verve Label Group president/CEO Danny Bennett has stepped down, Universal Music Group announced Thursday. Oversight of Verve will be taken over by Dickon Stainer, president/CEO of Universal Classics and Jazz, who will add the labels to a stable that already includes heading up Deutsche Grammophon and the Decca Label Group.

The restructuring was cited by the company as part of a “move to further internationalize Verve.” Stainer works out of both the London and New York offices for UMG.

Bennett — pictured above at a recent Grammys after-party with his father, Tony Bennett, and UMG chairman/CEO Sir Lucian Grainge — will continue to operate the management company he founded in 1979, RPM Productions.

UMG issued amicable statements from Bennett and Grainge as well as Stainer. “I’d like to thank Danny for helping to revitalize Verve and bringing some extraordinary artists into the UMG family,” said Grainge. “We look forward to working with him in the future.”

Said Bennett, “It has been an honor to work with Sir Lucian Grainge and Michele Anthony, along with the whole UMG family, and I’m thankful for the privilege of being able to build an amazing roster of new artists as well as a talented team of creative professionals who share my passion for the music.”

Bennett took the reins of Verve in 2016, following a four-year run by the famous producer David Foster. Under the helm of both Bennett and Foster, Verve and its sister labels had aligned with artists well outside the jazz and classical boxes, from New Orleans’ Tank and the Bangas to Lyle Lovett and an upcoming release from T Bone Burnett. It remains to be seen whether that will remain an emphasis under the new structure.

Diana Krall and Andrea Bocelli (who had a No. 1 bestselling album in November) are the biggest contemporary names on Verve, with the label’s catalog containing valuable titles from jazz greats like Nina Simone, Stan Getz, Ella Fitzgerald and John Coltrane.

Stainer emphasized several of the company’s successful and developing artists in his statement. “Classical and jazz are amongst the musical wonders of the world,” he said. “Streaming has opened a flood of discovery and has further enabled us to ensure our artists have a global reach. The developing international success of Max Richter, Gregory Porter, Lang Lang, Jacob Collier and Sheku Kanneh-Mason, among others, has demonstrated that we need to work with a seamlessly coordinated global approach (that) achieves the greatest results possible on behalf of our exceptional artists.”

Popular on Variety

More Music

  • does self-described "family brands" business Hasbro

    With Hasbro Acquisition, Is eOne Planning to Offload Family-Unfriendly Properties?

    Hasbro’s $4 billion acquisition of eOne in August instantly put the Canadian toy giant in the league of major entertainment and content companies thanks to eOne’s arsenal of IP assets in music, television and film. But does the self-described “family brands” business that’s home to The Game of Life and My Little Pony align with [...]

  • Hopper Reserve

    Dennis Hopper's Dying Wish: His Own Strain of Marijuana

    Even as celebrity brands are starting to flood the emerging Cannabis market, Hopper Reserve stands out. The brand was launched by Marin Hopper, Dennis Hopper’s daughter from his marriage to Brooke Hayward. Hopper Reserve is a gram of California indoor-grown flower, two packs of rolling papers, a pair of matches and a trading card either [...]

  • Snoop Dogg Weed

    In the Cannabis Business, Not All Star Strains Are Created Equal

    With the cannabis green rush in full swing, many celebrities are jumping into the fray with their own brands, including such well-known stoners as Willie Nelson, Snoop Dogg and Tommy Chong. But as it turns out, not all star strains are created equal, so we assembled a trio of crack experts to put the product [...]

  • The Cars - Ric OcasekThe Cars

    Ric Ocasek's Death Brings Turbo Boost to the Cars' Sales, Streams and Airplay

    For fans of the Cars, relistening to the band’s music was just what they needed in the hours and days following news of band leader Ric Ocasek’s death. The Cars was the artist with the second-highest overall album sales in the two days following Ocasek’s death, according to BuzzAngle Music, with the Sept. 15-16 long-dormant [...]

  • Richard Branson Jason Felts

    Kaaboo Festival Acquired by Virgin Fest Owner Jason Felts

    Kaaboo, which says it has “shifted the music festival paradigm by offering a highly amenitized festival experience for adults,” is now under new ownership. Virgin Fest founder and CEO Jason Felts (pictured above with Virgin founder Richard Branson) has fully acquired all of the festival brand assets through an affiliate of Virgin Fest, the music [...]

  • Live Nation Chief Michael Rapino Talks

    Live Nation-Ticketmaster Chief Michael Rapino Talks Dept. of Justice Inquiries

    Back in August, Senators Richard Blumenthal of New Jersey and Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota made the most recent of several requests for an Department of Justice antitrust investigation into competition in the ticketing industry, and it soon became clear that the target of the probe was Live Nation and its 2010 merger with Ticketmaster, which [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content