Concord CEO Scott Pascucci is stepping down effective June 30 after helming the fifth biggest music company for a decade. Bob Valentine, who ascended to president in 2021 from CFO, will become Concord’s new CEO.
Additionally, Concord’s chief label officer Tom Whalley will also vacate his role but will continue to be involved as founder of Loma Vista Recordings, his joint venture with Concord. Pascucci, who remains on Concord’s board of directors, and Whalley will be inaugural members of Concord’s new advisory board.
“I started my career in the music business 30-plus years ago for the simple reason that I love music, and I discovered along the way that I enjoy building businesses and leading teams of people,” said Pascucciin a statement. “Thanks to [Wood Creek founding partner] Brett Hellerman, I was given the opportunity to do all of those things at Concord. In 10 years, we have built a company that matters in the music industry, a place that cares about its employees, artists and writers, and that is well-positioned for the future. I am proud of all that we have accomplished. I look forward to continuing on the board of directors, to help guide the company forward under Bob’s leadership, while also having more time to focus on my interests in film and social impact initiatives.”
(Wood Creek Capital Management bought Concord from Village Roadshow in 2013. Concord is now a private company funded by institutional capital and Concord’s management team.)
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Pascucci’s announcement comes several weeks after Concord launched Concord Music Royalties, LLC Series 2022-1, a $1.8 billion asset-backed security that will allow further growth through funding reserve accounts, paying down debt and other uses.
“It positions us beautifully for the future,” Pascucci tells Billboard of the security. “It has given us significant additional capital for growth while also dramatically broadening the base of institutional lenders who are now familiar with the company.”
The succession plan has been in the works since 2019. “An orderly succession in key positions is critical to the stability and future growth of the company, as evidenced by the smooth transition from Jake Wisely to Jim Selby as chief publishing executive a few years ago,” Pascucci continues. “ My decision to move out of the CEO position and to stay on the board was made over 2 years ago, at which time Bob moved into the role of president.”
“Scott has made the transition from CFO to president remarkably smooth and easy,” Valentine says. “As CFO I was used to a particular flow of helping to finance our acquisitions and new productions; in stepping into the president’s role, I needed to get into the rhythm of the creative process outside of a purely financial lens. Scott’s extraordinarily patient, and he’s made sure to loop me in on some of the many day-to-day things that I wouldn’t have been in the middle of as CFO. Also, the senior team, most of whom are in Nashville, work very closely with each other. That makes a transition like this easier than they tend to be for a company.”
Valentine’s history with the company precedes Pascucci’s. He joined Norman Lear’s ACT III Communications in 1999 when it acquired Concord Records. He left in 2001 but returned in 2005 as CFO.
“I have had the privilege of helping to build Concord into the company that it is today ever since Norman Lear and his business partner Hal Gaba had the extraordinary foresight to buy a small, independent jazz record label in the same year that Napster was invented,” Valentine said in a statement. “The journey since then has been scary, thrilling, surprising, and incredibly rewarding.”
Valentine tells Billboard that Concord will proceed on its current path. “We’ll continue to focus on our core mission: to champion artists, elevate voices and impact culture. We can’t do any one of those without the other two. At the heart of everything we do is artistry; it’s our job to identify it, elevate it, and ultimately impact culture with it,” he says. That has been and will continue to be true for everything we focus on, whether it’s furthering our frontline label division’s breadth and depth, acquiring iconic songs and recordings, signing new and exciting songwriters, or licensing and co-producing theatrical works. I’m also excited about our Concord Originals segment, which aims to develop and adapt some of our music and theatrically based works (past and present) for film and television.”
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Concord’s catalog consists of more than one million songs, composed works, plays, musicals and active recordings and includes works from Phil Collins, Creedence Clearwater Revival, John Fogerty, Daft Punk, Miles Davis, Danny Elfman, Evanescence, The Fania All-Stars, Genesis, Imagine Dragons, Isaac Hayes, James Taylor, Jewel, Joan Sebastian, Nine Inch Nails, Pink Floyd, Cyndi Lauper, Little Richard, Nikki Six, Otis Redding, R.E.M., Rodgers & Hammerstein, Pete Seeger, St. Vincent, Taking Back Sunday, Ryan Tedder, The Traveling Wilburys, The Vince Guaraldi Trio and Hans Zimmer.
Headquartered in Nashville, Concord has additional offices in Los Angeles, New York, London, Berlin, Melbourne and Miami. Concord also has staff in Auckland, Sydney, Tokyo and Toronto.
As chief label officer, Whalley oversees frontline imprints Fantasy Records, Concord Records, Concord Jazz, Rounder Records, Loma Vista Recordings, Easy Eye Sound, KIDZ BOP and Fearless Records.
“In 2014, I found a great partnership with Scott Pascucci and Concord,” says Whalley, who co-founded Interscope Records and was Warner Bros. Records chairman/CEO from 2001 to 2010. “That partnership helped build a very important independent label, Loma Vista Recordings. It has been an added bonus to serve as the chief label officer for frontline labels at Concord. I am very proud of what we have accomplished.”
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Following Whalley’s departure, Concord will create a new role that will oversee the entire recorded music division, including frontline and catalog operations.
The new advisory board, which will be unveiled this fall, will also include Wisely, as well as other members from allied fields, such as music, film, theater and technology. It will act as a resource for best practices and new business opportunities for Concord.
Pascucci’s news comes a week after the announcement that Hartwig Masuch, CEO of BMG, the fourth biggest music company, is leaving at the end of the year after 15 years at the company. He will be replaced by BMG CFO Thomas Coesfeld.
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