HITS Daily Double


Mike Dungan will step down as chairman/CEO of Universal Music Group Nashville in March, it was announced on 1/9. UMGN President Cindy Mabe will succeed him as company chief.

After retiring as label topper, Dungan will serve as an advisor to UMG boss Sir Lucian Grainge.

Dungan's music career spans more than four decades. He worked in promo at RCA, ran marketing for Arista's country division and, in 2000, landed as president of Capitol Nashville. He was tapped as chairman/CEO of UMGN in 2012, overseeing an extraordinary run that included big hits and acclaim for Luke Bryan, Keith Urban, Chris Stapleton, Eric Church, Darius Rucker, Carrie Underwood, Little Big Town, Brothers Osborne, Kacey Musgraves, Sam Hunt, Shania Twain, Dierks Bentley, George Strait, Alan Jackson and more.

Grainge hailed Dungan as "a unique force," adding, "He has had an incredible impact on the careers and well-being of so many in Nashville through the years, from artists to employees. After a brilliant four decades in Nashville, Mike is making an admirable and well-deserved life change. And while he won’t be serving in his CEO capacity, I’ve asked him to continue to contribute to areas that we’re both passionate about—breaking genre barriers and delivering critical support to artists. I am deeply grateful to Mike for all he has done for our company and our artists and congratulate him on his unprecedented career success. I’m so pleased we will continue to have the benefit of his experience, deep relationships and wisdom."

"For 43 years the music business has been my home—smiling, dialing, selling, hustling, laughing, doing my part to help the art and magic realize its potential. And loving every minute of it," reads Dungan's farewell quote. "I’ve lived a charmed life, and there are no words to describe how grateful I am and how blessed I feel for everyone I've encountered along the way. I’m also proud to boast that through it all, I have been 'all in' as a competitor and a friend. The solemn truth is that over time, that intensity takes its toll, and a lot of the dog has been knocked out of me."

"By the time I leave here I will be 69 years old," Dungan's remarks continue. "It is time to slow down—I look forward to devoting more time to my family and my garden. I have an incredible wife who has put up with my nonsense for 45 years. We have two great kids who have two great wives of their own. And we have five wonderful grandkids whom I intend to spoil to the fullest. I am forever grateful to Sir Lucian Grainge, who 11 years ago handed me the keys to the best job in the world. To him and to everyone at UMG, to all of those who have been my family-in-arms, to all those creators whose art it has been my pleasure to represent, I am at a loss to express my love and gratitude. I am the luckiest man alive."

In addition to his label work, Dungan has been a champion of such worthy causes as Music Health Alliance, CMA Foundation, Wounded Warrior, St. Jude, Planned Parenthood, The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee and Second Harvest Food Bank.

We wish Mike much happiness in his next chapter. He's certain to enjoy not having to deal with us.