Music Industry News Network [01-20-2013]
Ted Cockle Appointed President, Virgin Records, Darcus Beese Appointed President, Island Records
Ted Cockle's appointment, announced by Universal Music UK Chairman & CEO David Joseph, is effective immediately. Cockle moves to Virgin from Island Records where he has been co-President since April 2008, helping to lead one of the most consistently successful artist development teams in the UK music business. His co-President at Island, Darcus Beese, steps up to take charge of all aspects of running Island Records as President.
Last year was a stellar year for the Virgin team as they took Emeli Sandé from launch to the best-selling artist of the year within 12 months. Sande's Our Version of Events was 2012's biggest album by some margin, selling 1.4 million copies.
Virgin, which is due to celebrate its 40th anniversary later this year, became part of Universal Music in September as part of the acquisition of EMI. Its phenomenal launch of Emeli Sandé follows other recent successes with The Kooks, Jamie T, Katy Perry and Swedish House Mafia.
Ted Cockle will be looking to build on Virgin's recent achievements as he becomes the label's President after seven years with Island. He joined the label in 2005 as head of marketing after 10 years at Sony, becoming marketing director a year later. In that role he worked with The Feeling, Amy Winehouse and Sugababes as well as steering the award-winning launch campaign for Mika.
Since Cockle and Beese were appointed co-Presidents in 2008, Island has grown to the point it has just received an incredible 15 nominations for the 2013 Brit Awards. The label finished 2012 as the UK's most successful singles company thanks to a stream of hits from Gotye, Psy, Jessie J and Rizzle Kicks among others. It is also celebrating one of its strongest ever performances in the albums market having released platinum records from Mumford & Sons, Robbie Williams, Jessie J, Ben Howard and Florence + The Machine.
Cockle will report to David Joseph in his new role. Joseph says: "The way the Virgin team have carefully nurtured the career of Emile Sandé is extraordinary, following other recent successes with Katy Perry, Brit Award-winning Laura Marling and Swedish House Mafia. I am determined they will be rewarded with all the support and investment they need to continue this renaissance of one Britain's landmark record labels. Ted – with his unique vision, innovation and passion – is the person to help them achieve this.
"As for Island I know the label is in the best possible hands, with Darcus providing inspirational leadership as he continues his remarkable journey at the label."
Cockle says: "It has been a total pleasure to have worked with all the artists and the exceptional team at Island for the past seven years. I now hope to help with Virgin's transition into Universal and to help the team further replicate their recent huge successes."
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