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“Since joining us in 1996, Jim has done a tremendous job in building UMGD into the world's premier entertainment distribution company."
—-UMG's Doug Morris on Jim Urie
JIM'S DANDY AT UMGD
Veteran Exec Urie Named CEO/President for Leading Distribbery
See, it pays to take our own Mark Pearson's phone calls.

Not that Jim Urie will anymore.

The veteran sales and marketing exec has been upped to Chief Executive Officer of Universal Music Group Distribution. He was previously President, and will now carry the title of President/CEO, and be referred to as Sir Jim Urie.

The announcement was made by UMG Chairman/CEO Doug Morris and President/COO Zach Horowitz.  

“Since joining us in 1996, Jim has done a tremendous job in building UMGD into the world's premier entertainment distribution company,” said Morris. “As he continues to expand and diversify UMGD, we look forward to Jim taking the company to even greater heights. And with the kind of scratch we're paying him, he's better.”

Added Horowitz: “Jim’s track record of success speaks for itself. In fact, it just sang back-up on the last Rihanna album. The creativity, focus and vision that he brings to UMGD on a daily basis is invaluable. The entire Universal Music family joins me in congratulating him on this milestone achievement.”

Said Urie: “I’ve been blessed with a top-notch executive team, one that is determined to take on the challenges of the industry head-on, and has done so to great success so far. I am thankful to Doug and Zach for the opportunity to continue building UMGD and fortifying its place as the industry leader. But who parked in my damn spot this morning?”

Urie assumed the role of President in August 1999 and has made important inroads in the areas of marketing and artist development, while leading the company to #1 in year-end market share for nine consecutive years.  He first joined the company in August 1996 as EVP/GM. 

Under Urie, UMGD has been named the NARM Distributor of the Year for 2000, 2001, and 2002, and has achieved finalist status for every subsequent year.  UMGD was also the first music company named as one of six national finalists in the Best Sales Organization category by the American Business Awards.

Urie began his career in 1972 as a college rep for CBS Records in Washington, D.C. and in 1978, was appointed Miami Branch Manager.  In 1980, he became New York City Branch Manager for CBS.  Later, in 1987, his artist-driven approach to sales caught the attention of Dick Asher, who recruited him as SVP Sales and Distribution for the newly reorganized PolyGram Records.

Urie then took on broader responsibilities in 1989 when he was promoted to SVP Marketing, overseeing artist development, creative services, publicity, video product and product management for the Mercury, Polydor and London labels, one of the few executives in the music industry to have held senior positions in both the creative and sales side of the business. In 1993, Urie joined Arista Records as SVP Sales.  While at the label, he worked alongside Clive Davis in building the careers of Toni Braxton, Whitney Houston, Sarah McLachlan, TLC and the Notorious B.I.G.

UMGD consists of four major divisions: Universal Music Distribution (UMD), Fontana, Vivendi Visual Entertainment (VVE) and UMGD Digital. UMD handles the distribution and sales for such labels as Universal Motown Republic Group, Island Def Jam Music Group, Interscope Geffen A&M Records, A&M/Octone Records, MCA Nashville, Universal South, Lost Highway, Mercury Nashville, Verve Music Group, Decca, Universal Music Latino, Universal Music Enterprises, Hip-O, UTV, Sanctuary Records, Univision Music Group, Machete Music, ABKCO, Concord Music Group, Hollywood, Lyric Street, Thump, CIA, Rounder, Fonovisa, Varese Sarabande, Walt Disney, Big Machine, Show Dog Records, Sybersound, Hidden Beach and Universal Music Christian Group, among many others.

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