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“It was my destiny to return to UMG’s family of companies. Under Steve Barnett’s wing, and alongside my new partner, Ashley Burns, the doors of the Capitol Tower are open; we are listening.”
——Ron Fair
VIRGIN RECORDS TO GET A FRESH COAT OF PAINT
Ron Fair Confirmed as Creative Head and EVP, Ashley Burns Named GM
And the rollout continues. On the heels of yesterday’s Greg Thompson-to-EVP announcement, Steve Barnett’s Capitol Music Group has confirmed that Ron Fair has been named Chief Creative Officer/EVP of what promises to be a new and improved Virgin Records, reporting to Barnett. Fair’s job, according to the release, involves “rebuilding Virgin across all contemporary music genres, launching its resurgence with an A&R team, helmed by Fair, and a marketing staff helmed by newly appointed GM Ashley Burns”—also announced this morning. Promotion and other centralized functions will be handled by the core teams within CMG. Fair will be based in the company’s “iconic” Capitol Tower.
 
“Ron Fair is simply one of the most accomplished music executives in our business,” Barnett stated. “In addition to his consummate A&R skills, Ron is a first-rate producer, arranger, recording engineer and musical director who is consistently successful and acclaimed for his work. He is exactly who Virgin needs at its helm as we move forward to rebuild the label into a vibrant home for the great artists of the future”

Commented Fair: “I am thrilled and humbled to work with Steve Barnett, Greg Thompson and the fabulous team he has assembled for the new Capitol Music Group. This is a once-in-a-lifetime situation—to run and rebuild Virgin Records with focus and creativity, while providing a new musical home for emerging artists with kaleidoscopic opportunities. It was my destiny to return to UMG’s family of companies. Under Steve Barnett’s wing, and alongside my new partner, Ashley Burns, the doors of the Capitol Tower are open; we are listening. Thank you, Steve and Lucian.”
 
A 33-year major-label veteran whose CV includes gigs at Front Line, Geffen, A&M, RCA, EMI Records, Island and Chrysalis, Fair enjoys gardening, cooking and dressing elegantly, according to the release.

As GM, Burns—who was most recently as EVP North America for EMI—will helm the company’s marketing and publicity efforts and work with CMG’s core teams to develop and implement sales and promotion plans, as well as utilizing the company’s other centralized services to benefit Virgin’s artists. She, too, will be based in the “iconic” Capitol Tower.

Stated Barnett: “Ashley has enjoyed a sterling reputation within Capitol and EMI for many years, and I knew within minutes of meeting her that her diverse skill set would perfectly complement that of Ron Fair’s. We are committed to rebuilding Virgin Records into a powerhouse label, and Ashley’s contributions will be integral to achieving that success. I congratulate her on this well-deserved appointment.”
 
Added Burns: “I am very excited to be working with such an accomplished music executive as Ron Fair, and to help deliver an incredible future for Virgin Records and our artists. I believe wholeheartedly in Steve Barnett’s vision for the Capitol Music Group and am extremely grateful to Steve for the opportunity to be on his team in this exciting new era for the company. I’m honored to get to work with the incredible team of executives that Steve has assembled. A special thank you, also, to Lucian Grange for having the foresight to imagine a bright future for the EMI and Capitol labels.”

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