HITS Daily Double
“Innovation, leadership and imagination are essential to expanding our digital business even further, and there is no one better equipped to do this than Rob.”
——Lucian Grainge


Fellow Brit Rob Wells to Fill Key Role for UMG
UMG has promoted Rob Wells to the newly created position of President of Global Digital Business. The announcement was made jointly by Co-CEO Lucian Grainge, President/COO Zach Horowitz and COO UMG International Max Hole, but it appears to have Grainge’s fingerprints all over it. Nonetheless, Wells will report to Horowitz and Hole.

The Englishman, who was previously SVP Digital for UMGI, will relocate to L.A., where he’ll work out of UMG headquarters, which Grainge moved from N.Y. to Santa Monica earlier this year.

According to the press release, Wells will work closely with the various divisions of UMG and its business partners to further extend the company’s digital strategy and reach across current and emerging platforms. Tasked with global responsibility for the strategic growth initiatives around all of UMG’s digital assets, Wells will drive development and execution of activities in the wireless, online and transactional sectors. He’ll also be responsible for identifying strategic partnerships and next generation distribution channels to open new revenue streams.

Said Grainge: “Innovation, leadership and imagination are essential to expanding our digital business even further, and there is no one better equipped to do this than Rob. Not only have he and his team been at the forefront of pioneering new models in such a challenging, competitive environment, but they have also led the way in developing new business ventures with key strategic media and tech partners. And he’s the best surfer I know.” (Remarkably, we didn’t make up that line; it appears in the actual release.)

Commented Horowitz: “Through this new position, we have created a more comprehensive, integrated approach to implementing our digital strategy on a global scale. This will further maximize value for our artists and business partners, while helping to catalyze the next stage of growth for our company in this area. It will enable us to be even more nimble, innovative and user-friendly than in the past. And we're confident that under Rob's leadership, this new approach will flourish. Now, if you’ll excuse me, Rob is going to show me how to get on the Internet."

Added Hole: “Rob has done a remarkable job internationally for Universal Music in the past four years, and this promotion recognizes that fact. He is equally skilled in relationships with artists and talent management as he is in dealing with the CEOs of top technology companies and our multiple business partners. Simply put, Rob is the industry’s leading digital music executive, at the world’s leading music company.”

Finally, it was Wells’ turn: “UMG possesses a portfolio of world-class artists and brands, and this new position presents a tremendous opportunity to help define new and widening opportunities for them on a global basis. I am thankful to Lucian, Zach and Max for their continued support. UMG has been on the leading edge of the digital music business, and I look forward to creating and advancing initiatives that will keep us at the forefront of this developing marketplace."

Wells began his tenure at UMG in 2000, when he joined Universal Music U.K. as Division Director of Digital Services. He was later promoted to SVP Digital for UMGI in 2006, where he oversaw the company’s international digital business.