NEW YORK (CelebrityAccess) – Scott Cohen, Chief Innovation Officer (CIO) at Warner Music Group, is stepping down from his role at the end of September.
Cohen’s departure was announced Tuesday (September 13) in an internal memo obtained by MBW, which states that he’s “off to pursue new adventures that we’ll hear about soon.”
Warner Music Group hired Cohen for the newly created position of CIO, Recorded Music, back in March 2019. Cohen co-founded digital music and video distribution company The Orchard, which is now wholly owned by Sony Music Entertainment.
At Warner, Cohen has reported to Max Lousada, WMG’s CEO, Recorded Music, who, writing in the memo announcing Cohen’s departure, calls the executive “a pioneer who has always been alive to the possibilities that ignite when music and technology intersect.”
The memo continued: “He’s helped us identify and engage with new partners to benefit our artists and our company. But Scott has always enjoyed building things from scratch, so he is off to pursue new adventures that we’ll hear about soon. Please join me in thanking Scott for everything and wishing him well for the future.”
Cohen began his career in the artist management business. Wanting to expand beyond managerial duties, Cohen teamed up with Richard Gottehrer in 1997 to found The Orchard, a music distribution company. The pair launched The Orchard in New York, focusing on distributing independent music to the mainstream public. In 2003, The Orchard expanded into the European market alongside the release of iTunes. Cohen’s distribution company shortly became the largest independent music distributor on Apple’s platform.
By 2008, The Orchard extended their focus into content management, marketing, licensing, and analytics tracking programs. Cohen also led the company’s re-entry into the physical distribution business, allowing their ever-expanding artist roster to benefit from the added reach of record stores.
From 2008 to 2014, Cohen and The Orchard continued their expansion into neighboring rights and public performance royalty collections.
In 2012, The Orchard announced they had merged with IODA, another global distribution business. Because of Sony’s previous 51% stake in IODA, it was reported that Sony would gain ownership of at least 50% of the merged company. In 2015, The Orchard sold all of its remaining shares to Sony Music Entertainment for over $200 million.