LONDON (CelebrityAccess) — Jon Webster has stepped down as Music Managers Forum (MMF) president in order to pursue a number of external projects.
"Webbo" took up the role in January 2016 after working as chief executive officer (CEO) of the organisation for eight years.
During his tenure, he led an overhaul of the MMF to ensure it could represent the latest generation of artist managers and deal with the challenges of the digital era.
Starting his career as a record shop assistant, Jon spent the bulk of his time at Virgin – joining as sales manager in 1981, and eventually becoming managing director in 1988.
During that period, he was instrumental in devising the Now! That’s What I Call Music brand.
Striking out on his own in 1992, he worked closely with acts including Genesis, Peter Gabriel, UB40, Mike & The Mechanics, Baby Bird, Die Toten Hosen and Erasure, as well as founding the Mercury Music Prize.
He joined the BPI as director of Independent Member Services in 2005, before his appointment to the MMF two years later.
Explaining his decision, Jon said: ‘This process began in 2015 when I told the board I wanted to stop being CEO.
‘All organisations need change to evolve and my involvement was coming to an end. Annabella Coldrick was recruited as CEO and has proved to be the exact person that we needed to take the MMF forward in an increasingly policy led environment. I am very proud of what we have achieved in the last 10 years although there is still much to do particularly in the area of transparency and fairness for artists and managers.’
He continued: ‘I am not retiring but want to concentrate on writing my memoir about my time at Virgin before taking a long hard look at the world and deciding what lies ahead. I am very happy to leave the MMF in the capable hands of the team and the board. I will try to be available if a temporary extra pair of hands is ever needed as the MMF holds a significant place in my heart.’