Monday, July 15, 2024

Tom Kershaw, Justin Rhode join BMI as Chief Technology Officer and Chief Transformation Officer amid widespread change at the PRO – Music Business Worldwide

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US performance rights org BMI, fresh off its transition to a for-profit business model and sale to New Mountain Capital and other investors, has announced two new additions to its leadership team.

Tom Kershaw, a seasoned executive in internet and mobile communications, is coming on board as BMI’s Chief Technology Officer, while Justin Rohde, a veteran in strategic management and growth, will be joining in the newly-created role of Chief Transformation Officer, BMI said in a statement on Monday (July 8).

Both will report to Mike O’Neill, President & CEO of BMI.

As CTO, Kershaw will be taking over the role of Chief Information Officer Mike West, who recently announced his retirement from the company.

Kershaw previously co-founded prebid.org, an open-source software organization, and comes to BMI most recently from global travel retail platform Travelport. He has more than 20 years of experience in mobile app development, advertising and marketing systems, and data science, working in technology markets of varying size and geographic complexity, BMI said.

“Tom’s background and track record of driving digital transformation, coupled with his passion for innovation and experience working with large scale data, position him well to lead BMI’s significant technological advancement and modernization,” O’Neill said.

“These include our efforts to manage the opportunities and challenges of AI and create new avenues for affiliates and licensing partners to enhance their BMI experience through technology.”

“Tom’s background and track record of driving digital transformation, coupled with his passion for innovation and experience working with large scale data, position him well to lead BMI’s significant technological advancement and modernization.”

Mike O’Neill, BMI

Rohde, meanwhile, joins BMI from Xplor Technologies, a private equity-owned global SaaS and payments conglomerate, where he served as both Chief Revenue Officer and Chief Transformation Officer. Rohde was responsible for revenue growth, profit improvement and strategic initiatives across various parts of the business.

His previous experience includes leading product development and growth strategies at IntegraMed America and consulting on management and strategy at Bain & Company.

BMI says Rohde brings with him “extensive experience” in process improvement, sales effectiveness, product development and global business management.

“Justin brings a wealth of experience in driving business growth by pairing strategic vision with practical implementation,” O’Neill said.

“He will not only help us enhance our processes and programs, but also will lead our efforts to obtain new revenue sources for our affiliates. This is the absolute right time for our company to add the position of Chief Transformation Officer, as we continue to accelerate our plan to maximize royalties and improve the service we provide to our creative community.”

“This is the absolute right time for our company to add the position of Chief Transformation Officer, as we continue to accelerate our plan to maximize royalties and improve the service we provide to our creative community.”

Mike O’Neill, BMI

After some eight decades as a not-for-profit entity, BMI – which collects blanket license fees from businesses that use, for a repertoire of more than 22 million musical works – switched to a for-profit business model last year.

The PRO recently completed its sale to a shareholder group led by New Mountain Capital. That resulted in significant payouts to BMI’s previous shareholders, which consisted of a variety of US broadcasters.

In an effort to assuage concerns about the switch to a profit-based model and sale to a private equity firm, BMI paid out USD $100 million to its affiliates, that is, songwriters and publishers.

Now, the PRO is focused on improving profitability through improved exploitation of technology and maximization of royalties.

“Tom and Justin have the experience and leadership qualities to enable us to enhance and increase the value we provide to our songwriters, composers and publishers,” O’Neill said.

“Working with our team, they will be instrumental as we carry out the key elements of our strategic growth plan, to continue to grow distributions, advance our technology and customer service and to seek new sources of revenue for our affiliates.”Music Business Worldwide

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