(CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — John Kennedy will succeed Jay Berman as IFPI's Chairman and CEO on January 1.
Kennedy has headed record companies internationally and in the UK since the mid-1990s, latterly as president and COO of Universal Music International, a position he held until February 2004.
Kennedy has been actively involved in IFPI's work for several years, participating on the Main Board and chairing the European Regional Board between 2002 and 2004. During this time he played a key role in representing the industry's interests to governments internationally.
Earlier in his 25-year music industry career, Kennedy was a successful entertainment lawyer, working with major artists, managers and major and independent record labels. In the 1980s he played a leading role in the Band Aid and Live Aid projects, for which he was honored with an OBE from the British government in 1985.
Berman will have completed six years at the head of IFPI when he departs the UK to return to his native US at the end of this year. He has successfully led the recording industry's global legislative and anti-piracy activities at a time of dramatic change throughout the international music business.
Kennedy will join IFPI on October 1, allowing a three-month transition period before Berman's departure in December. "I came to IFPI for two years and stayed for six," said Berman. "I have enjoyed every moment of it, including the challenges of the last three years. I am confident I have achieved everything I set out to do on behalf of the companies and national groups. I am equally confident that in John Kennedy we have the ideal successor. I also want to say a special thank you to the IFPI staff worldwide for a job well done against great odds. We have won some great victories together."
"These are very challenging times for the music industry, but I believe the industry has the creativity, ability and determination to deal with its problems and I am looking forward to the job that needs to be done." said Kennedy. "I am inheriting IFPI in wonderful shape thanks to the tremendous leadership that Jay Berman has demonstrated over the last six years." –Bob Grossweiner and Jane Cohen
On the Web: www.ifpi.org