Universal Music Group
announced on Thursday that the company will focus its global artist development and marketing strategy for the classical and jazz repertoire genres under a more unified management structure.

The moves are to better capitalize on the worldwide growth in the consumption of the genres in the streaming era.

Dickon Stainer, President and CEO of Universal Classics and Jazz, will assume direct responsibility for the New York-based Verve Label Group, dividing his time between New York and London. Stainer is tasked with providing the label group with a new global focus, in addition to his existing responsibilities overseeing the division, including Deutsche Grammophon and the Decca Label Group.

Graham Parker, President, Universal Music Classics U.S., will report directly to Stainer.

Danny Bennett, President & CEO, Verve Label Group, will depart and continue to run his artist management and strategic marketing company, RPM Productions.

Sir Lucian Grainge, UMG Chairman and CEO, raised his baton and cued the orchetra while declaring, “Dickon is an extraordinarily creative leader with an open-minded approach to identifying artists and then marketing them in groundbreaking ways. I've personally witnessed his success for two decades, dating to our work together to ensure classics and jazz were highly present in contemporary music. Most recently he has placed our classics and jazz artists and composers at the center of the streaming revolution. I look forward to accelerating our efforts by unifying these teams under a single global strategy so we can deliver the greatest possible success for our artists.”

Grainge added, “I’d like to thank Danny for helping to revitalize Verve and bringing some extraordinary artists into the UMG family. We look forward to working with him in the future.”

Stainer played a few bars of Rachmaninoff before noting, “Classical and jazz are amongst the musical wonders of the world. Streaming has opened a flood of discovery and has further enabled us to ensure our artists have a global reach. The developing international success of Max Richter, Gregory Porter, Lang Lang, Jacob Collier and Sheku Kanneh-Mason, among others, has demonstrated that we need to work with a seamlessly coordinated global approach achieves the greatest results possible on behalf of our exceptional artists.”

Bennett said, “Being the CEO and president of Verve Label Group has been a remarkable experience and an incredible opportunity. I’m proud to be able to say that the company is now the leading Jazz and Classical label in the U.S."

Verve Label Group is home to the historic Verve and Impulse labels, and the US home to world-famous labels Deutsche Grammophon, Decca and ECM, with a storied roster and catalogue which includes Diana Krall, John Coltrane and Ella Fitzgerald, as well as up-and-coming artists J.S. Ondara, Shabaka Hutchings, Ezinma and City of the Sun.

Blue Note Records in the U.S. continues to operate as part of Capitol Music Group.