Simon Johnson appointed Managing Director of Strategy, Growth & eCommerce at Universal Music UK


UK Music

Universal Music UK has appointed Simon Johnson as Managing Director of Strategy, Growth and eCommerce, a new role for the UK’s leading music company.

Reporting to Chairman & CEO David Joseph, Johnson joins Universal Music UK on June 28 in a move which signals the company’s ambition to supercharge and open up new commercial opportunities for its artists. The highly respected media and technology executive will join the Universal Music UK leadership team and focus on building strategies, capabilities and new businesses to deliver growth. He will drive the company’s overall eCommerce strategy, building on an exceptional period of growth for Universal Music UK’s portfolio of online stores, working closely with Richelle Parham, Universal Music Group’s (UMG) recently appointed President, Global e-Commerce & Business Development to implement global strategic initiatives to create new commercial opportunities for UMG artists and labels.

Johnson joins Universal Music UK from Amazon after six years in a variety of leadership roles in Europe, most recently overseeing the books/Kindle business across the UK, Germany, France, Italy and Spain alongside the fully owned subsidiary Book Depository. He previously led Amazon’s game-changing 3rd party Marketplace in the UK and was general manager of its UK physical media retail business, a portfolio spanning music, books, movies and video games.

With a brief to boost customer engagement, build out community retail and enhance the company’s already sector-leading analytics Johnson will develop and work with new direct to consumer platforms alongside the company’s existing stores. Feeding into all Universal Music UK divisions including the commercial team led by President, David Hawkes, he will also explore new retail routes such as drop-shipping models, as well as interactive and shoppable experiences.

Prior to joining Amazon in 2015, Johnson spent eight years at book publishing powerhouse HarperCollins where, as Group Managing Director, UK & International his responsibilities spanned strategy, digital, commercial, analytics, operations, finance and publishing.

Universal Music UK chairman and CEO David Joseph says, “Simon brings his strategic vision alongside incredible experience in management, retail, data and analytics to this new role, but above all he is a creative and innovative thinker who shares our belief in the huge potential for eCommerce and finding authentic new ways for our artists to build their markets and audiences.”

Johnson says, “Ever since I fell head over heels in love with music as a young child who stumbled on the magic of ‘Revolver’ in my parents’ record collection, it’s been my dream to work on helping artists be more successful and bringing them closer to their fans. Universal Music Group is home to without doubt the greatest set of artists and catalogue in the world. I can’t wait to get started in playing a role to help fans like me find and express joy and purpose through these wonderful artists and the power of music.”

A mathematician by training, with an MBA from London Business School, Johnson’s early career included varied roles spanning derivatives trading to TV and theatre production.

Source UK Music

June 24, 2021 6:00am ET by Pressparty  


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