Merlin Announces 9 New Board Members

Merlin, the independent’s digital music licensing partner, has announced its newly-elected Board. The organization’s Board—elected from and by its members—includes representatives from twelve different countries across Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, North America, and Oceania. This diverse expertise will provide strategic guidance to Merlin in better serving its membership—composed of tens of thousands of labels representing music from hundreds of thousands of artists around the world—as it strikes premium deals with partners such as Apple, Facebook, Peloton, Snap, Spotify, TikTok, YouTube, and more.

The 2022 Merlin Board offers an array of perspectives and new voices from experienced music industry leaders. The Board helps to guide the Merlin team in its mission to help independents stay independent. Among its ranks are entrepreneurs who have built successful companies from the ground up; experts in the fast-paced world of evolving technology; and widely respected leaders who have helped independents move forward on key issues impacting the entire music community.

The Merlin Board offers equal representation from the organization’s three regional blocs: North America, Europe, and All Other Countries. 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, Director of Sales & Label Relations, 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 steps down as Executive Chairperson of Merlin’s Board. Hansen served distinctively in the role since his appointment in 2019, having previously served as Chairperson for the prior two years, and as a long-time Merlin 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.”

Find out more at merlinnetwork.org