Downtown Music Holdings has announced that its founder and current CEO Justin Kalifowitz will take on a new position as executive chairman, with current COO Andrew Bergman assuming day-to-day responsibilities as the company’s CEO. The move will become effective on September 1.
According to the announcement, Kalifowitz, who has served as CEO since establishing the company more than 14 years ago, will continue to focus on driving strategic development, leading Downtown’s Board of Directors and working together with Bergman and the executive team on transformational growth opportunities for the company. Sources tell Variety that the move essentially formalizes a process that gradually has been taking place for some time, as Kalifowitz has stepped away from day-to-day CEO tasks.
“Downtown has always set ambitious goals both internally and with respect to our role in driving equity and innovation across the music industry,” Kalifowitz said. “As we continue to expand our market position by empowering entrepreneurial creators and their partners, Andrew’s unrivaled knowledge of the business coupled with his operational excellence make him the perfect choice as our next CEO. With Andrew managing day-to-day operations for Downtown, I’m looking forward to continuing to work closely together in advancing the organization’s strategic development at an accelerated pace.”
Bergman added, “I feel very fortunate to continue my 14 year collaboration with Justin in my new role as CEO and I am excited about what we will accomplish together in Downtown’s next growth stage. With an exceptional team, global operations, industry leading technology and substantial capital resources, Downtown is well positioned to continue expanding our role as the leading service provider to the global music industry.”
Bergman’s history with Downtown extends back to the company’s inception when he served as outside legal counsel. In 2008, he formally joined Downtown as general counsel and executive VP, prior to his promotion to COO in 2014.
Most recently, Bergman has overseen Downtown’s M&A integrations and operations, spanning more than 500 employees on six continents. In April, the company sold its 145,000 owned and co-published copyrights to an affiliate of the Concord music company, including songs popularized by Beyoncé, Jay-Z, Lady Gaga, Marvin Gaye, Mötley Crüe, New Order, Stevie Wonder, The 1975 and others. Downtown announced that it was getting out of the ownership business to focus on music services exclusively, primarily publishing administration (including royalties, synch and licensing) as well as its label services division, DashGo.