His stepping aside was long expected, as a succession plan for CCMG was put in place six years ago, and Brad O’Donnell and Hudson Plachy were promoted to co-presidents last year. The company said York will stick around in an advisory role through the end of 2020.
York’s career in music stretched back to the burgeoning Christian music scene of the mid-1970s, when he played guitar on seminal records by the 2nd Chapter of Acts, Phil Keaggy, Michael Omartian and others. He soon joined one of the top CCM labels, Sparrow Records, working with founder Billy Ray Hearn and his son, Bill Hearn. York eventually rose to run Sparrow before it was absorbed into what eventually became the Capitol Christian Music Group. He was promoted to the chairman/CEO position in 2018 after 22 years as president of CCMG’s Label Group.
“Peter is one of the most accomplished executives in the music business,” Capitol Music Group chairman/CEO Steve Barnett said in a statement, “and his contributions to CCMG and the faith-based music community over the many decades cannot be overstated. It is a testament to Peter’s foresight and dedication to our company that he has long anticipated this day and has meticulously prepared CCMG for a seamless transition from his leadership to that of Brad O’Donnell and Hudson Plachy. I know they have been well-mentored by Peter, and I’m confident that the company is well-positioned to build upon its market-leading success under their co-leadership. I offer my thanks and appreciation to Peter for all he has done for CCMG and CMG, and wish him the very best in his well-earned retirement.”
CCMG has a 40% market share of Christian music in the U.S., the company reports, with 2018 and 2019 as the highest performing years in the company’s history. CCMG artists have racked up 40 Grammys in the last 10 years.
Said York, “I’ve been privileged to be a part of CCMG and its many evolutions over the last 37 years. I’ve worked with the absolute best music business leaders, the most dedicated team and with immensely gifted artists and songwriters along the way. It’s been more than I could have ever imagined. I’m humbled and grateful for the countless opportunities I’ve been given and I’m overwhelmed by the impact our music has had in the lives of consumers around the world. I’d like to thank Steve Barnett for all of his support over these past seven years and for his confidence in our succession plan and the next generation of leadership for CCMG.”
Among the artists York is credited with helping develop are TobyMac, Switchfoot, Chris Tomlin, Steven Curtis Chapman, BeBe & CeCe Winans and Amy Grant and dozens of others. CCMG says he has A&R-ed more than 100 albums that have reached at least the gold-selling level.