Less than two months after Downtown Music Holdings shook up its leadership team by appointing longtime general counsel and COO Andrew Bergman as CEO and transitioning founder and CEO Justin Kalifowitz to the role of executive chairman, the company has announced three new key executive appointments “to further the transformational growth of the company,” as stated in a release.
The appointments – the first under Bergman’s leadership – include the promotions of Andrew Sparkler to chief business officer (CBO), Brad Yuan to COO and FUGA’s Loredana Cacciotti to the role of senior vp digital licensing & business affairs. As described in the release, the promotions are part of Downtown’s “ongoing efforts to drive operational and strategic alignment” after selling its music publishing copyrights to Concord in April. That sale was a culmination of Kalifowitz’s drive to transform the company from a pure publisher into one of the leading services companies for independent artists, offering distribution through several channels, publishing administration, marketing and financial services, royalty collection, neighboring rights, digital rights management, licensing and recording studios among its suite of offerings and owned brands.
As CBO (a newly-created position), Sparkler — who previously served as Downtown’s executive vp, business development — will be tasked with overseeing the overall business growth of Downtown across client verticals. Since boarding the company in 2014, Sparkler has led the internal team responsible for evaluating potential acquisitions and also played a key role in securing publishing administration deals with Ryan Tedder, Phish, John Prine and Jason Isbell, among others. He previously worked at ASCAP and was a practicing music attorney.
Yuan, who succeeds Bergman as COO, started at Downtown as global head of rights management for its subsidiary Songtrust. During his tenure, which began in 2018, he has helped lead integration efforts related to Downtown’s M&A activities, including initiatives around organizational alignment and improving operational strategy and efficiency. He has also overseen the company’s COVID-19 response and impact across various stakeholders and facilities.
The London-based Cacciotti assumes her new role after most recently serving as head of commercial legal affairs & licensing for Downtown subsidiary FUGA. Since joining FUGA in 2016, she played a key part in legal and commercial negotiations for all of FUGA’s licenses with label clients and DSPs across the globe. As Downtown’s senior vp digital licensing & business affairs, she will play a leading role in negotiating the commercial and legal aspects of licenses for tracks managed by Downtown and its subsidiaries, which include CD Baby, FUGA, Songtrust and Downtown Neighboring Rights. She has nearly 15 years of experience as a music lawyer.
Sparkler and Yuan will continue reporting directly to Bergman, while Cacciotti will report to chief revenue officer Dewayne Ector.
“I’m very proud of the breadth and depth of experience reflected on our executive team,” said Bergman in a statement. “The promotions of Andrew, Brad, and Loredana are recognition of the value they’ve already delivered Downtown, and confidence in their ability to further our growth strategy. They demonstrate an unwavering commitment to our vision of building an equitable global music industry and have the know-how to make it happen.”
Downtown currently manages over 23 million music assets on behalf of over 1 million artists and enterprise clients representing 145 countries.