LOS ANGELES, CA. (Top40 Charts/ Universal Music
Group) - Jim Urie has been promoted to Chief Executive Officer of Universal Music
Group Distribution (UMGD), the award-winning sales, marketing and distribution arm of Universal Music
Group (UMG), the world's leading music company. Previously, Mr. Urie served as President of UMGD and will now carry the title of both President & CEO. The announcement was made today by Doug Morris, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer of UMG, and Zach Horowitz, President & Chief Operating Officer of UMG.
"Since joining us in 1996, Jim has done a tremendous job in building UMGD into the world's premier entertainment distribution company," stated Mr. Morris. "As he continues to expand and diversify UMGD, we look forward to Jim taking the company to even greater heights."
"Jim's track record of success speaks for itself," commented Mr. Horowitz. "The creativity, focus and vision that he brings to UMGD on a daily basis is invaluable. The entire Universal Music family joins me in congratulating him on this milestone achievement."
"I've been blessed with a top-notch executive team, one that is determined to take on the challenges of the industry head-on, and has done so to great success so far," added Mr. Urie. "I am thankful to Doug and Zach for the opportunity to continue building UMGD and fortifying its place as the industry leader."
Universal Music Group Distribution has been the industry market share leader for the past nine years and consists of four major divisions: Universal Music Distribution (UMD), Fontana, Vivendi Visual Entertainment (V V E) and UMGD Digital. UMD handles the distribution and sales for such labels as Universal Motown Republic Group, Island Def Jam Music Group, Interscope Geffen A&M Records, A&M/Octone Records, MCA Nashville, Universal South, Lost Highway, Mercury Nashville, Verve Music Group, Decca, Universal Music Latino, Universal Music Enterprises, Hip-O, UTV, Sanctuary Records, Univision Music Group, Machete Music, ABKCO, Concord Music Group, Hollywood, Lyric Street, Thump, CIA, Rounder, Fonovisa, Varese Sarabande, Walt Disney, Big Machine, Show Dog Records, Sybersound, Hidden Beach and Universal Music Christian Group, among many others. Fontana is the company's independent sales, marketing and distribution arm, V V E is its home DVD and entertainment division, and UMGD Digital manages and distributes all of Universal Music Group's digital assets, including mobile.
Mr. Urie assumed the role of President in August 1999 and has played a pivotal role in strategically breaking new ground in the areas of marketing and artist development. He first joined the company in August 1996 as Executive Vice President and General Manager and has since led UMGD to record breaking success. The company became the first in the music industry to achieve the No. 1 position in the top five market share categories in 1999 and remained No. 1 in year end market share for the next nine consecutive years.
His efforts have resulted in fueling new market growth for Universal, while further enhancing and broadening its reach with such best-selling and developing artists as U2, Mariah Carey, Kanye West, Elton John, Bon Jovi, Eminem, Sheryl Crow, 50 Cent, Sting, Jay-Z, Andrea Bocelli, Gwen Stefani, Shania Twain, George Strait, Mary J. Blige, Sugarland, Maroon 5, Rihanna, Fergie, Akon, Pussycat Dolls, Fall Out Boy, Nelly Furtado, Reba McEntire and Timbaland, among many others.
Under Mr. Urie's auspices, UMGD has garnered many awards, including being named the National Association of Recording Merchandisers' (NARM) Distributor of the Year for 2000, 2001, and 2002, and has achieved finalist status for every subsequent year. The company has received numerous retailer awards from major companies such as Best Buy, Target, Borders and Circuit City. UMGD was also the first music company named as one of six national finalists in the Best Sales Organization category by the American Business Awards.
Mr. Urie began his career in 1972 as a college rep for CBS Records in Washington, D.C. and soon moved up through the company's ranks with brief stints in promotion and sales. In 1978, he was appointed Miami Branch Manager where, in 1979, the division finished number one in sales out of 21 branches. In 1980, Mr. Urie became New York City Branch Manager for CBS. Later, in 1987, his artist-driven approach to sales caught the attention of PolyGram executive Dick Asher. Soon after, Mr. Asher recruited him to the post of Senior Vice President, Sales and Distribution, for the newly reorganized PolyGram Records. With his dedication to artist development and keen understanding of the creative process, Mr. Urie took on broader responsibilities in 1989 when he was promoted to Senior Vice President of Marketing. In this role, Mr. Urie oversaw artist development, creative services, publicity, video product and product management for the Mercury, Polydor, and Londonlabels. This move made him one of the few executives in the music industry to have held senior positions in both the creative and sales side of the business. In 1993, Mr. Urie joined Arista Records as Senior Vice President of Sales. While at the label, he worked alongside Arista President Clive Davis in building the highly-acclaimed careers of such superstars as Toni Braxton, Whitney Houston, Sarah McLachlan, TLC, and The Notorious B.I.G.