Executive Turntable: BPI Names CSO; The Orchard Taps EVP of Sales, Artist & Label Management

Sophie Jones was promoted from director of public affairs to chief strategy officer at BPI; she will also serve as interim chief executive until a permanent appointment is made following the recent exit of Geoff Taylor. Coinciding with Jones’ elevation, the communications, independent member services and research & insight department heads will now report directly to Jones alongside the public affairs team.

The Orchard promoted Mary Ashley Johnson to executive vp of sales and artist & label management, U.S. and Canada. The company also named Katie Studley as vp, Nashville. Johnson will continue driving revenue and market share for The Orchard while managing teams responsible for client relationships and high-level strategy on key releases across the U.S. and Canada. Studley will oversee the Nashville office’s day-to-day operations while developing new business relationships and further expanding The Orchard’s presence in Nashville. Based in New York and Nashville, respectively, Johnson and Studley report to COO Colleen Theis.


Longtime senior executive, editor and music historian Jay Orr retired from the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum after more than 26 years. He most recently served as executive senior director for research, editorial and content; he also led the museum’s editorial team, overseeing the development of exhibits, publications and more. Orr can now be reached at [email protected].

Web3 company Yuga Labs (Bored Ape Yacht Club, CryptoPunks, Meebits) appointed Daniel Alegre as CEO, effective the first half of 2023. He succeeds Nicole Muniz, who will stay on as a partner and strategic advisor to the company. Alegre will work closely with Yuga Labs founders Wylie Aronow and Greg Solano to continue growing the business. Alegre most recently served as president and COO of Activision Blizzard.

Roy Hennis was promoted to senior vp of sales and Nik McLeod was named vp of publishing at LyricFind. Hennis will continue to lead his team in LyricFind’s core markets as well as emerging products including Lyric Videos and LyricIQ, while McLeod will oversee the publishing department’s international licensing efforts in key territories and markets.

The Copyright Alliance announced two at-large board members whose terms commenced on Sunday (Jan. 1): Todd Dupler of The Recording Academy, who will serve on the board for a second consecutive term, and Jeff Sedlik of American Photographic Artists. Both will serve two-year terms at the organization.

Kevin Hart‘s multi-platform media company Hartbeat hired Sara Abdulahi as senior vp of people & culture, Annie Ballot as senior vp of global media, Neil Wright as vp of live & experiential and Namon Jones as vp of brand partnerships. The company also promoted Tina Maher to senior vp of brand & franchise management. Abdulahi, who comes from ATTN:, will oversee talent management, compensation and benefits, training and development and employee relations; Balagot, who comes from NBCUniversal, will oversee strategy and distribution of Hartbeat media, including expanding distribution for LOL! Network across all platforms; Wright, who comes from Complex Networks, will oversee live events and experiences; Jones, who arrives with more than 20 years of experience running digital sales, will develop and expand on Hartbeat’s East Coast brand partnerships; and Maher, who joined the company in 2017, will oversee and execute monetization, growth and partnerships strategies for Hartbeat’s owned and operated brands and franchises.

Deezer appointed Ingrid Bojner (Storytel) and Mark Simonian (retired chairman of global TMT investment banking at Credit Suisse) as independent board directors. They were co-opted by the board to replace Alban Gréget and Jeronimo Folgueira, who resigned from their director positions last month. Folgueira will continue as Deezer CEO and work closely with the board of directors on all relevant business matters. Bojner and Simonian’s mandates will extend through the remaining term of their predecessors — or until the annual general meeting is called to approve the financial statements for the fiscal year ending Dec. 31, 2024, and the fiscal year ending Dec. 31, 2023, respectively.

Artist and music management company UROK hired Tayla Dhyll as head of audience, a newly created role, and Sophie Lane as senior artist manager. Dhyll will be tasked with developing, implementing and managing digital strategies for artists, while Lanez will work on two of UROK’s new management signings. The company also promoted Chris Kasa to senior vp of artist management, making him responsible for new signings and managing the careers of Jade Bird, Lucky Kilmartin and Jo Hill; Afoma Ojukwu to artist relations manager; Steve Sasse to artist and repertoire director across records, publishing and producer management for the entire UROK roster; and Annabelle Scott-Curry to creative director on a consultancy basis, working alongside UROK on Plan B and Jess Glynne.

Beasley Media Group hired Ariana Sheehan as director of digital content strategy. Based in Albany, New York, Sheehan will work closely with vp of digital content Erika Beasley and vp of digital marketing Jennifer Williams to help drive the company’s digital content strategy and grow its audience. She joins from product review and marketing company BestReviews.

Chris Eggertsen