NASHVILLE (CelebrityAccess) — The Mechanical Licensing Collective (MLC) announced that label veteran Kris Ahrend has been named as the organization’s CEO.
Ahrend, who is based in Nashville, will take up his new duties immediately.
MLC Board Chair Alisa Coleman said, “Kris was selected by our Board after a months-long competitive process; both his background and vision stood out amongst many qualified candidates. The unique combination of his experience with license administration, his tenure as a business and legal affairs executive in the music industry, and his most recent involvement in leading the design and operation of a large client service organization makes him well-suited to operate the MLC. He has spent his career making sure artists and songwriters get paid, and the Board is thrilled to have found someone whose passion and expertise align so well with the mission of the MLC.”
The MLC, which was created by the Music Modernization Act to oversee royalty collection from digital service providers. It has also been tasked with creating a publicly available database to ensure accurate, transparent copyright ownership information.
After studying law at the Washington & Lee School of Law, Ahrend clerked for the Western District of the Virginia District Court and the Second Circuit Court of Appeals before joining the Intellectual Property & Litigation Group of Simpson Thacher & Bartlett, LLP in New York.
Ahrend began his career in the music industry working in the Law Department at Sony Music, where he provided legal services to all of Sony’s US divisions, including its publishing company. He also did a stint in the business and legal affairs department at Sony BMG Music Entertainment before accepting a senior executive role at Rhino Entertainment.
In 2013, Ahrend left Rhino to assume a senior executive role within Warner Music Group, where he helped to create and then led a legal, financial and administrative shared services organization. In 2016, he was promoted to President of U.S. Shared Services and oversaw multiple teams providing administrative, financial, and legal services to Warner Music’s U.S.-based publishing teams, record labels, and corporate divisions.
“Nothing could be more exciting than leading a company that helps ensure songwriters, composers, lyricists, and music publishers receive the money they deserve from digital service providers and offers them new tools to take control of their careers. We will provide songwriters and publishers unprecedented transparency, rights, and the ability to claim what is theirs. Through the MLC, we are committed to improving the system for everyone,” Ahrend said of his new role.