Marc Geiger, WME’s global head of music, is exiting the agency he’s called home since 2003. In addition, WME’s Co-Head of Music Sara Newkirk Simon will transition to a consultant role with WME parent company Endeavor.
Lucy Dickins is upped to co-head of WME’s Music division, joining Scott Clayton and Kirk Sommer who also retain the titles of co-heads. The three will run the agency’s music division.
“Under Marc’s leadership, WME’s Music division has become a global powerhouse,” said Lloyd Braun, president of Endeavor’s representation businesses. “During his tenure, Marc led countless agency initiatives and ‘firsts’ for the music industry, including the creation of Festivals and EDM divisions and building out WME’s leading London and Sydney music teams. We thank Marc for his countless contributions to WME and wish him all the best going forward.”
Added Geiger: “The past 17 years have been an incredible ride, and I’ve been fortunate to work with some of the world’s best artists and colleagues. I’m proud of all that we accomplished, most especially the team we built during my time with the agency. I know they will achieve great things in the future.”
Of Newkirk Simon, Braun said: “Sara has played a critical role in managing our music division and positively impacting the career trajectories of countless clients. We are deeply grateful for her contributions at the agency.”
Last month, a rumor circulated that Geiger was headed for a high-ranking position at Spotify, which he denied at the time, as “part of the Swedish streaming giant’s expansion into the live space,” per a Hits report.
At WME, the West Coast-based Geiger has overseen a roster that includes Justin Timberlake, Drake, Bruno Mars, Kendrick Lamar, The Weeknd, Childish Gambino, Luke Bryan and Eric Church. A booking veteran going back to his college days at the UC San Diego, Geiger is also a co-founder of the Lollapalooza music festival.
Geiger’s exit follows that of Joel Zimmerman, the agency’s former global head of electronic music, which Variety reported on May 18.
The touring sector and the live entertainment space overall has been hammered by the coronavirus pandemic, which has effectively shut down venues and the gathering of large crowds. On Thursday, it was revealed that Live Nation had mandated new financial terms for touring and festival artists which reduce payments to the acts andd shift much of the financial risk from the promoter to artists and agencies.
WME is in the process of implementing a significant number of layoffs of agents and other staff. Rumors about WME downsizing process have been swirling for many weeks, contributing to a feeling of angst and uncertainty among many WME insiders. WME heavyweights have been trying to help find new opportunities — including as talent managers or executives at production entities — for some of those likely affected.