Merlin, the digital-rights licensing partner for independent music companies, has announced its newly elected board of directors.
The board, which is elected from and by Merlin’s members, includes representatives from twelve different countries across Africa, Asia, Europe, North America, and Oceania, and will service the organizations tens of thousands of member labels as it strikes deals with partners such as Apple, Facebook, Peloton, Snap, Spotify, TikTok, YouTube, and more. This year, nearly half of the board members have been elected or appointed for their first term, with 11 members returning for another term.
Newly elected to the 2022 board are: Pascal Bittard, owner, Idol (France); Tom Deakin, head of EMEA, AudioSalad (UK); Sandra Ortega, director of global partnerships, Altafonte (Mexico); Louis Posen, president & executive director, Hopeless Records (US); Jason Taylor, sales and label strategy director, Redeye (US); and Yushi Yamashita, president, RightsScale (Japan).
Advisors appointed this year include Katie Alberts, COO, Reach Records, who previously served on the Merlin Board. Joining for the first time are: Glen Barros, managing partner, Exceleration Music; Rachel Buswell, head of digital partnerships and analytics, Domino; and Jennifer Newman Sharpe, GC and Head of Business Affairs, ONErpm.
Returning to Merlin’s board for another term are: Marie Clausen, head of NA and global streaming, Ninja Tune (US); Michel Lambot, co-founder, [PIAS] (Belgium); Chris Maund, COO, Mushroom Labels (Australia); Carlos Mills, founder & CEO, Mills Records (Brazil); Martin Mills; founder & chairman, Beggars Group (UK); Michael Ugwu, CEO, Freeme Digital (Nigeria); Darius Van Arman, co-CEO of Secretly Group (US); Pieter van Rijn, CEO, FUGA (Netherlands); Horst Weidenmüller, CEO & Owner, !K7 (Germany); and Justin West, president & CEO, Secret City (Canada).
Van Arman, who first joined Merlin’s Board in 2015, will step into the role of chairperson. He succeeds current Exceleration Music partner and former Epitaph executive Dave Hansen, who served in the role since 2019, having previously served as chairperson for the prior two years and as a long-time board member.
“Merlin is led by the needs of our diverse and growing membership. We take great pride at Merlin in representing members from every part of the world through trust, access, flexibility and transparency,” said Jeremy Sirota, Merlin CEO. “Our Board is a vibrant and strong voice from our membership. We’re pleased that our new Board has music industry leaders with such a wide range of expertise—I look forward to their advice, guidance, and perspectives.”