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Atlas Music Publishing CEO Richard Stumpf Fired Following Investigation for Workplace Misconduct (EXCLUSIVE)

Scooter Braun's Ithaca Holdings acquired Atlas in 2019.

Richard Stumpf
Atlas Music Publishing

Richard Stumpf, who acted as CEO of Atlas Music Publishing for more than 7 years, has quietly left the company. His January exit comes in the wake of an internal investigation for workplace misconduct, according to multiple sources familiar with the situation. It’s alleged that Stumpf spoke inappropriately to female staffers specifically. One insider confirms Stumpf was “fired with cause,” noting that parent company Ithaca Holdings LLC houses Scooter Braun’s SB Projects, which boasts a staff that’s 70% female and a zero-tolerance policy.

Atlas COO and partner Phil Cialdella has taken on the chief executive role for the interim; Allison Kaye, Braun’s longtime business partner, serves on the board of Atlas.

Stumpf founded the music publishing company in 2013 with financing from Aronson Media Ventures, Goldman Sachs and advisors Sword, Rowe & Company. It was acquired in early 2019 by Ithaca Holdings. Among the songwriters on its roster are Brandi Carlile, Andrea Bocelli, Dan the Automator (Gorillaz, Underworld), Warren Haynes and the Van Halen catalog.

In Sept. 2019, Atlas partnered with Quincy Jones for a joint venture. Commenting on the deal, Jones told Variety at the time, “It’s an absolute honor to join forces with Atlas, and my brothers Rich and Scooter, to create a home for not only incredible musicians, but incredible songs. A great song can make the worst singer in the world a star, but the three greatest singers in the world can’t save a bad song! We’re looking forward to creating a publishing community filled with only the best of the best songs and human beings.”

Stumpf has sat on boards for the National Music Publishers Association and The Recording Academy, for which he is a voting member, and served voluntarily on the Association of Independent Music Publishers (AIMP) and as publishing chair of the American Association of Independent Music (A2IM). He is also the founder and producer of StumpFest, an annual live music event benefiting St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, according to a profile on LinkedIn, which notes his current employment as CEO of Hawkeye Music Group.

Variety has reached out to Stumpf and reps for Ithaca for comment.