After nearly seven years of guiding Motown, Ethiopia Habtemariam has been elevated to Chairman and CEO of the label, reporting directly to Universal Music Group Chairman and CEO Sir Lucian Grainge.

In connection with Habtemariam’s promotion, Motown will have greater creative and commercial independence to advance its mission of artistic, social and entrepreneurial empowerment.

“Motown is such an important voice and, just as when it was founded by Berry Gordy, its impact continues to be felt around the world,” Grainge said. “Motown’s resurgence and powerful partnerships under Ethiopia’s leadership have advanced the label’s legacy as home to some of today’s biggest hitmakers and most meaningful voices in music.”

Since becoming President of Motown Records and EVP of Capitol Music Group in 2014, Habtemariam has revitalized the storied label through partnerships with Blacksmith Records (Ted When, Vince Staples), Quality Control (Lil Baby, Lil Yachty, Migos) and Since the 80s (Asiahn, Njomza), along with artists Erykah Badu, Kem and Tiana Major9, among others.

“This new chapter gives us the opportunity to operate in stealth mode: focusing on growing our roster [by] signing and developing the next generation of global superstars, and building our global strategy and focusing on innovative ways to support our artists, key partners and iconic catalog across the many verticals that connect audiences around the world,” Habtemariam tells HITS.

“Motown is one of, if not the most, recognizable labels in the world and there is no question where it sits within culture today. The opportunity to breathe new life and energy into this company has been both a huge responsibility and privilege.

“I’m incredibly proud of our team, the amazing artists on our roster and the partners that have been with us on this journey.”

Prior to joining Motown, Habtemariam was President of Urban Music & Co-Head of Creative at Universal Music Publishing Group.